Tag Archives: Dallas Police Shooting

Dallas, Baton Rouge and Untreated Mental Illness

By Dr David Laing Dawson

The two most recent mass killings in the US were murder suicides, in my opinion. The murder of police officers and the entirely predictable “suicide by cop” that quickly followed. There were previous incidents that provoked these acts and there certainly are contributing causal elements in the racial wounds of contemporary America.

And once again it is worth pointing out these two men had access to weapons any sensible country would restrict.

But this time each man exhibited signs of mental illness as well. I mention this because of the current controversies about anti-depressant medication mentioned in Marvin’s latest blog.

From what I have read about them I think both of these men would have benefited from treatment with antidepressants. Rather than causing violence this treatment may have prevented it. The ex marine who traveled from Kansas City to Baton Rouge may have benefited from anti-psychotic medication as well.

So while these incidents speak to the great divide in America today, to their insane gun laws, the social wounds that need to be addressed, they also speak to accessibility (or lack thereof) of mental health care, and by mental health care, I really mean psychiatric treatment for mental illness.