New Evidence: Was Autism, Asperger’s Or Psychotropic Drugs Behind Adam Lanza’s Bloody Rampage?
It goes without saying that anyone who could gun down his own mother and then slaughter 26 children has serious mental problems. However, a new report from investigators is causing some people to point the finger in a different direction.
“Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s”: and: “Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Mind of an Autistic Savant”: were found in Lanza’s home. This has led some people to wonder whether Autism, Asperger’s or Selective Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors, which may be used to treat both conditions, make people dangerous.
The short answer to that question is “No.”
People with Asperger’s and: Autism: are no more likely to commit crimes than the general public. Additionally, while it’s wise to pay close attention to the side effects of any psychotropic drugs, they’re also unlikely to cause someone to commit a crime. If you’re wondering how that can be, it’s worth considering the “chicken and the egg” argument when it comes to drugs.
For example, it has been noted for decades that people who take some types of antidepressants have a higher: suicide rate: than the general public. Of course, people who are healthy, happy and doing well don’t take antidepressants to begin with. If you are taking antidepressants, it’s an indication that you’re depressed and people who are depressed are more likely to commit suicide. Moreover, some people who are depressed may want to kill themselves, but lack the energy because of their depression. The antidepressants may give them just enough energy to off themselves. Does that mean the antidepressants caused the suicide? No. Certainly, that’s an issue that’s still being debated in the psychiatric community, but it’s : worth keeping that perspective in mind.
In Adam Lanza’s case, his mother was reportedly considering having him committed. Given his behavior, it seems that she had good reason to be worried. But, it’s also important not to assume that Asperger’s, Autism or other forms of mental illness automatically make someone dangerous. Not only is that completely untrue, it unfairly stigmatizes people who already have enough issues on their plate to deal with.