'I am Adam Lanza's mom' highlights mental health debate
Posted By Matt Guillermo, Web Producer - bio | email
Police suspect 20-year-old Adam Lanza in the Newtown, Conn. mass shooting. Lanza reportedly suffered through a number of conditions before the shooting. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
An Idaho woman's essay, which highlights her struggle raising a child with the reported symptoms similar to the Newtown, Conn. gunman, is bringing the issue of better assistance for mental health into the forefront.
Liza Long's personal story about her 13-year-old son "Michael" touched on the need to better help children who exhibit warning signs for explosive behavior before the potential of violence erupts.
In the article, the single mother of four talks about Michael's threats to her and himself.
"Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books," Long says in the publication. "I managed to get the knife from Michael, then methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with me. Through it all, he continued to scream insults at me and threaten to kill or hurt me."
Long, throughout, insists she loves her son, but, she says, he "terrifies" her.
She mentions how Michael has not been firmly diagnosed, that he's a very smart child, but, has repeatedly exploded to the point of hospitalization.
Still, Long says, the only way Michael will get the thorough treatment he needs, at this point, is if he is pushed to the point of incarceration.
"I don't believe my son belongs in jail," she says.
To drive the point of the essay, she says the following:
"I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza's mother. I am Dylan Klebold's and Eric Harris's mother. I am Jason Holmes's mother. I am Jared Loughner's mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho's mother. And these boys—and their mothers—need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it's easy to talk about guns. But it's time to talk about mental illness."
What do you think of Liza Long's essay on the need for better mental health treatment? Do you agree with her theory, especially following the Newtown shooting?
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