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The gun violence that is rampant in our country and all the controversy about gun ownership is bothering me quite a lot. Don’t get me wrong, I do not want to trample on the rights of gun owners, but I personally do not want to own a gun and do not want anyone to sell me one if my state of mind becomes unstable at some point in the future.

I have spoken with a few friends with this illness (manic depression also known as Bipolar Disorder), all of whom are stable at the moment; we would all be willing to sign a No Gun Registry to flag our background checks. Just as you, as a U.S. citizen have a right to own a gun, we have a right to request that we will not own one. It is that simple.

Now where it gets tricky is for parents of disturbed children. I think they have a right to put their child’s name on the proposed No Gun Registry until that child is twenty one years of age and requests to be removed of his/her own volition. I wish we could ask the child’s doctor to sign off on Registry removal request; but that is asking a lot of physicians—to police the mentally ill.

As it stands now, I may go into any gun shop and declare myself mentally competent, which I am not. I can lie on the form and say I do not have a mental illness and pass the background check because I have no criminal record, enabling me to purchase a gun either on the spot or with the waiting period required by some states.

Another option for the No Gun Registry is for those on the Social Security Disability payment rolls due to mental illness to be put on the NGR. It is the price one pays for drawing that check. I know that sounds harsh; but if someone is on Social Security due to mental illness, why would anyone want that person to have a gun?

The other thing that disturbs me more than I can say is that each of the gunmen in these massacres has been on SSRI mood-altering medications WITHOUT a mood stabilizer. It seems to me, that all doctors should understand that if your intent is to alter someone’s mood, you should also attempt to stabilize that mood.  Most psychiatrists understand this, but the primary care physicians who prescribe the majority of these medications do not know, nor will they know unless the pharmaceutical sales rep states this during the sales call to the physician office.

As things are presently, the primary care physicians have been prescribing these medications for many years, mostly since they marketing push for Prozac in the late 1980’s, so there is over 20 years of re-education about the nature of these medications for the physicians and consumers.

If I take an antidepressant drug (the SSRI’s) without a mood stabilizer, I can tell you I become unstable very quickly. Now I am not saying every person who is given an SSRI by the primary care physician has Bipolar Disorder, but I am saying it just makes SENSE to prescribe a mood stabilizer with these medications for everyone when the mood-altering medication is prescribed. To me, this seems like a common sense issue; but then I am very familiar with these medications after taking them many years both with and without mood stabilizers. Without mood stabilizers, I end up in the hospital eventually.

It was not until I found my psychiatrist who also has Bipolar Disorder several years ago that I understood the importance of a mood stabilizer in conjunction with the SSRI antidepressant.  This was after being hospitalized in his clinic while taking an SSRI prescribed by my primary care physician, before I had a correct diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder. I had recently quit an excellent job due to severe depression, but purchased a second home when I could barely make the payments on my first home.  Needless to say, I ended up losing both homes and it took several years to find medications which work for me.

Right now my medications are working and I pray they continue to work, which has not been the case in the past. I know from experience if I do not take the mood stabilizer prescribed with the anti-depressant, I get very angry and irritable. I could tell many more stories of “crazy” things I did during times of instability due to being medicated without a mood stabilizer, but I think you get my point.

The bottom line is I do NOT want anyone to sell a gun to me and I believe the value of mood stabilizers should become a topic of discussion within the gun massacre issue.

Originally posted to clcurtis204 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 04:22 PM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Plenty of people take SSRIs and (4+ / 0-)

    related drugs who do not have bipolar (or even just not bipolar I, which is the form you are talking about), and they do not necessarily need a mood stabilizer.

    It's worth screening for this in general, because some people are bipolar, but the belief is already out there and quite popular that "SSRIs just throw people off balance and cause manic episodes". This is emphatically not true for most patients without bipolar, and possibly for those with bipolar II as well. SSRIs have other drawbacks and side effects as well, but for those who do not need them, the side effects from the mood stabilizer can be much more significant (for some medications more than others).

    For a larger number of people, adjusting to being on an SSRI or having chemically altered serotonin metabolism in general can cause mood swings during the first couple months of treatment. This does not necessarily indicate bipolar disorder, though it is a sign of trouble if it continues. However, for most patients on SSRIs who do not have bipolar, the effect of SSRIs alone on mood swings after steady treatment is to diminish them.

    Your point is valid for those it applies to, but it's not universally appropriate. It's best to leave these determinations to the professionals who are already making them, even though admittedly they often get it wrong on both sides (both false positives and negatives).

  •  My sister is bipolar (4+ / 0-)

    And owns a number of firearms, used for hunting.
    As her husband just died, she is living alone in a rural location, and feels the need of the guns for self protection.
    Personally, I am very mixed about her status.
    While I don't see her as a rampage threat, I don't trust her grasp of reality and threat recognition abilities.

    (Her medication routine failed under stress of losing her husband)

    This is an important issue to have under discussion, good diary.

    •  Do you have any idea what the reality (0+ / 0-)

      is, with respect to what "home defense" firearms are used for ???

      NRA lies its collective ass off. They lie that "flawed studies" misstate the situation. To be clear, "studies" is the wrong word. We're doing body counts here, nothing related to cause-and-effect "studies."

      NRA is so dishonest that what they say isn't even wrong. When they recommend buying guns for defense, they know that individuals in firearm owning home are almost five times more likely to commit suicide than individuals who do not own firearms. Suicides with guns also outnumber homicides just shy 2:1.

      The facts are straightforward. For 2010:

      -- U.S. gun suicides: 19,392.

      -- U.S. total homicides: 11,078

      -- Gun-related death rates in the United States are eight times higher than they are in countries that are economically and politically similar

      Justifiable homicide is the single rubber-meets-the-road measure for self-defense events. If you need a gun and use it, you're going to try to kill somebody. "The killing of a felon, during the commission of a felony, by a private citizen" is the F.B.I. description. For 2010:

      -- Total = 278

      -- Firearms = 232

      -- Hand/rifle/shotgun/unkn = 170/6/26/28

      -- Other weapons = 46

      Suicides - 19,392.

      Self-defense homicides = 232. For comparison police killed a total of 385 people with guns in 2010.

      Generally for every person killed by gunshot, two people are injured. Use that to triple the incident estimate and you get a ratio of 19,392 to 696 = 28:1 for 2010.

      Add on the homicides that victimize family and friends and you get 44:1.

      That ratio of 44:1 has been remarkably stable over decades. It goes up by at most 1 or 2 or down by 1 or 2 then returns to 44.

      Guns shoot the wrong people 44:1.

      Bureau of Justice Statistics at the Department of Justice provides the National Crime Victimization Survey. However this is limited to violent crimes against individuals 12 years of age and older. Crimes against children get a pass from BJS study.

      Your sister "feels the need of the guns for self protection" and she is on the wrong end of the 44:1 seesaw. She would be far better off with a $25 super-fogger MACE weapon. Coat the motherfucker in yellow poison. Or get her a taser -- seriously, a taser.

      Don't give any warning and a taser + a baseball bat will stop anybody.

      It's a better combination than a handgun going against another handgun + a thick bulletproof vest. The homeowner loses that battle. Body armor is standard for home invasion criminals -- easy to get, even easier to manufacture, a $50-$100 problem against 9mm using commercial tiles. (Welcome to Los Angeles.)

      And it's a bitch trying to commit suicide with a taser. (That's a joke.)

      Luv you both. Get the guns out of there before she catches a bad day and is gone. Throw in the $500.00 to get her the fogger and a taser. (Selling any two of the used guns pays for it.) Also, she isn't going to go off into a NRA-propagandized panic and kill somebody by mistake.

      Best to all --

      "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012 "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army/McCarthy 1954

      by bontemps2012 on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 05:34:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm opposed to my medical information being (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    remembrance, bontemps2012

    infringed upon if I've not been adjudicated mentally ill.

    "Mitt Romney looks like the CEO who fires you, then goes to the Country Club and laughs about it with his friends." ~ Thomas Roberts MSNBC

    by second gen on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 05:53:31 PM PST

    •  And if the cost is 19,000 suicides (0+ / 0-)

      for the poor bastards who go into depression and solve it with a gun ???

      What would you give up to help total strangers ?

      "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012 "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army/McCarthy 1954

      by bontemps2012 on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 05:42:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So, you want my private medical information to be (0+ / 0-)

        available just because someone may want to commit suicide with a gun some day?

        Nope.

        "Mitt Romney looks like the CEO who fires you, then goes to the Country Club and laughs about it with his friends." ~ Thomas Roberts MSNBC

        by second gen on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 10:07:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You believe that your medical (0+ / 0-)

          records would be posted online ???

          Where?

          By whom?

          Does that make sense?

          "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012 "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army/McCarthy 1954

          by bontemps2012 on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 02:06:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I believe that I have a right to as much (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bontemps2012

            privacy as is still possible with my private medical records. I believe that in order to access my medical records, a government must have reason and a warrant.

            Just being who I am shouldn't give anyone the right to access them and put me on "a list". I suppose next they'll be wanting tattoos to be sure no one sells "the wrong person" a firearm.

            "Mitt Romney looks like the CEO who fires you, then goes to the Country Club and laughs about it with his friends." ~ Thomas Roberts MSNBC

            by second gen on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 03:16:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  If you suffer from paranoid schizophrenia (0+ / 0-)

              or Major Depression or bipolar disorder or one of the obsession-based disorders that connect up with blame-placing behaviors, then you can be a threat to others.

              The Depression illnesses produce 19,000 suicides a year. So yes, intervention is justified.

              Perfect freedom for everyone ???

              A synonym for that is anarchy.

              Look up the Australian system. It gives a sensible trade off. Does anyone get to apply secrecy to his medical records NO MATTER WHAT... of course not.

              It's part of the price of civilization.

              "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012 "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army/McCarthy 1954

              by bontemps2012 on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 05:12:04 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  WTF are you babbling about? Those with (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                bontemps2012

                mental illness are FAR MORE likely to be a VICTIM than a perpetrator.

                No. Your perceived safety and your own paranoia is not justification for killing my Constitutional rights. I'm not willing to trade mine so you can have more than you should.

                Also, most of those with mental illness who DO get dangerous are rarely ever seeing anyone for their illness. Which would make the database null and void, as they wouldn't even be on the radar. Merely having a diagnosis is also not justification for violating my rights. Diagnoses are not fool proof, and many people are diagnosed by one doctor and a specific point in their lives and another doctor negates that diagnosis. Too late, you'd already be on a list. Like the no-fly list. You can get on it, but you can't get off.

                No thanks.

                "Mitt Romney looks like the CEO who fires you, then goes to the Country Club and laughs about it with his friends." ~ Thomas Roberts MSNBC

                by second gen on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 05:37:09 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Success at diagnosis is only 30%. (0+ / 0-)

                  That's for mass murderers and gives credit for wrong diagnoses, too.

                  It's a bitch.

                  But, dammit, when we do diagnose someone as seriously dangerous, we need to be able to separate them from guns. If that was only 5% of mass murderers, then it's a little bit better for somebody.

                  If you were put on a NO GUNS LIST, related to medication, would that be so bad ?????

                  Really, I'd rather have you alive.

                  Not in a prison.

                  Not living with temptation to kill yourself every black-mood whim.

                  I've lost enough people over the years. Hate funerals. Hate everything about them.

                  "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012 "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army/McCarthy 1954

                  by bontemps2012 on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 07:28:23 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for being open and shining a light on (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jakewaters, remembrance

    a much needed dark shadow.  For every action there is a reaction and we need to enact laws that will work but not cause more problems than they solve. I hopw someone on the presidents staff reada your diary.

    Our money system is not what we have been led to believe. The creation of money has been "privatized," or taken over by private money lenders. Thomas Jefferson called them “bold and bankrupt adventurers just pretending to have money.” webofdebt

    by arealniceguy on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 07:46:34 PM PST

  •  I guess I have a couple of concerns: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bontemps2012

    I have a diagnosis of BPI and PTSD. Exacerbated or caused by the 1st husband who bought me the gun, and made me carry it, and all the horrible tales of what would happen to me if 'DANGER' approached and I didn't have it. Then became 'DANGER' himself.

    I've used the gun once, to shoot a rabid raccoon that got into the house and was a danger to me and my children. I refrained from using it when that husband shoved it into my hands and told me- just kill me now, I can't live without you.

    I suppose one of my concerns is who determines who is crazy? I understand that my situation could teeter either way- either he or I could be the more credible witness. The other is what rises to the level of reportable craziness? On the two occasions that it turned out that I was really losing it, I had no idea that I was- the medication was doing no favors and telling plenty lies...

    I survived to get better medication, and a support system of folks who will tell me the train has jumped the tracks, but what of people who don't have that? How do we deal with a self-reporting system of people who, at that moment, are really unaware of how ill they are?

    I understand that my situation is mine alone, but it does seems to cross some lines, and I wonder how exactly we avoid cookie-cutter solutions that miss the mark more often than they hit it.

    Anyone who scoffs at happiness needs to take their soul back to the factory and demand a better one. -driftglass

    by postmodernista on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 11:08:48 PM PST

    •  Amazing comment. A++. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      postmodernista

      The overall statistics are up there in an other comment. F.B.I. nails it:

      Guns shoot the wrong people 44:1.

      Nobody, however sane today, is a good bet for having guns in the house. They're sitting on that 44:1 seesaw with the odds going against them.

      Hunting sounds harmless/masculine/all-American, except for the 44:1 risks involved owning guns.

      Your raccoon presented the one situation where a gun is the right tool. I'd have been swinging a baseball bat at it. Or a 5 iron.

      But what's wrong with MACE and a taser, if you still think you need to do home defense ??? You're not going to kill anybody.

      "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012 "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army/McCarthy 1954

      by bontemps2012 on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 05:58:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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