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jobendorfer Donating Member (429 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 12:00 PM
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25. not to muddy the waters any more, but ...
There's a risk in this discussion that we might conflate 3 different interpretations of insanity:

There's the legal definition of insanity, here in the U.S.
There's a legal definition of insanity operative in Norway ( and I'm too ignorant to know what that is, but it's probably different than ours. )
Then there are a set of psychiatric disorders, defined in the DSM-IV.

There is overlap between these definitions, but they are NOT the same, and it's easy to lose context.

Legally, in the U.S. the question boils down to, "Did this person understand the implications or consequences of their act?"
One test of this is, "Would this person have done the same thing in the presence of a police officer?"
If yes, the person is usually judged to be insane.
If no, the person is regarded as sane, in the sense that they were sufficiently in tune with reality and aware enough to defer the act until the policeman was gone
and evade the consequence of arrest.

OTOH, the DSM-IV defines psychotic disorders in terms of a set of observable symptoms and behaviors, which include
things like delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly disorganized behavior, that sum to severely
diminish a person's capacity to function as a parent, in employment, or at school.

Which is how you can have a team of psychiatrists or psychologists diagnosing someone as psychotic,
yet the (US) legal system saying, "He or she is fit to stand trial."

It also explains why it is that in my home state of Oregon, the largest inpatient psychiatric facility is the Multnomah County Jail.
(Since this is DU, I should probably add: I think this is a terrible thing.)

In all of this it should be stressed that schizophrenia is a condition that devastates the lives of those who suffer from it.
The overwhelming majority of schizophrenics are far more likely to end up homeless and/or victimized, rather than to act as victimizers.
Breivik is a very rare exception.


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  -Norway mass murder suspect insane, police say Eugene  Nov-29-11 06:48 AM   #0 
  - That seems accurate. He seems insane to me.  Quantess   Nov-29-11 06:57 AM   #1 
  - If he's insane he would be a danger to others in prison,  Yo_Mama   Nov-29-11 09:17 AM   #10 
  - Quantess  Diclotican   Nov-29-11 09:24 AM   #11 
  - Thanks for explaining.  Quantess   Nov-29-11 09:49 AM   #12 
  - Quantess  Diclotican   Nov-29-11 10:29 AM   #18 
     - No, I know he was exaggerating just to be funny.  Quantess   Nov-29-11 11:09 AM   #23 
     - Quantess  Diclotican   Nov-29-11 12:32 PM   #35 
        - There are many, many bad prisons here in the U.S.,  amandabeech   Nov-30-11 03:35 PM   #51 
           - amandabeech  Diclotican   Nov-30-11 10:06 PM   #53 
     - Solitary confinement is torture  duhneece   Nov-29-11 12:06 PM   #27 
  - Restorative justice vs punative justice  duhneece   Nov-29-11 12:03 PM   #26 
  - Also, Norway doesn't have life imprisonment in prisons  alp227   Nov-29-11 12:36 PM   #36 
  - Does a anyone ever become psychoticly deranged and kill people in the name of liberal ideology?  Gman   Nov-29-11 07:00 AM   #2 
  - I think that the 'anarchist' assassins of the late 19th century  HereSince1628   Nov-29-11 07:10 AM   #3 
  - Wouldn't it be hard to say they were psychotic?  Gman   Nov-29-11 07:15 AM   #4 
  - IIRC they were pitched to the public by the media as being insane n/t  HereSince1628   Nov-29-11 07:18 AM   #5 
  - Although, many of them were framed. See: Sacco and Venzetti  Taverner   Nov-29-11 08:30 AM   #7 
  - yes, but it's not really liberal or conservative ideology as a sane person would see it  Yo_Mama   Nov-29-11 09:15 AM   #8 
  - The SLA comes to mind...  BadtotheboneBob   Nov-29-11 10:20 AM   #15 
  - Charles Manson was kind of liberal, but mostly just psychotic.  Quantess   Nov-29-11 10:22 AM   #17 
  - Liberal? In what way?  Starry Messenger   Nov-30-11 06:02 AM   #46 
  - I don't recognize any ideology that embraces genocide as a form of conservatism  slackmaster   Nov-29-11 12:12 PM   #29 
  - As long as he's put away, I'm all for it  lbrtbell   Nov-29-11 08:10 AM   #6 
  - Eugene  Diclotican   Nov-29-11 09:17 AM   #9 
  - We can see who you are and who you are responding to  AtheistCrusader   Nov-29-11 10:00 AM   #13 
     - AtheistCrusader  Diclotican   Nov-29-11 10:22 AM   #16 
     - DU is visited by people from all over the world.  AtheistCrusader   Nov-29-11 10:41 AM   #19 
     - Ive seen Americans do it before :)  Lars77   Nov-29-11 10:56 AM   #20 
     - AtheistCrusader  Diclotican   Nov-29-11 12:25 PM   #33 
        - We each have our own style  Tansy_Gold   Nov-29-11 12:41 PM   #37 
     - It's always nice to see your posts, Diclotican.  EFerrari   Nov-29-11 12:20 PM   #30 
        - EFerrari  Diclotican   Nov-29-11 12:22 PM   #31 
     - Different posters have different quirks  Nihil   Nov-30-11 04:50 AM   #45 
  - no ****  iandhr   Nov-29-11 10:15 AM   #14 
  - The wrongness of this is that a mental hospital is not secure enough  ooglymoogly   Nov-29-11 10:59 AM   #21 
  - ooglymoogly  Diclotican   Nov-29-11 12:11 PM   #28 
  - Have you even been to a Mental Hospital? They are some of the more secure places I have even visite.  happyslug   Nov-30-11 01:49 AM   #43 
  - And yet...people do escape, a few never caught.  ooglymoogly   Nov-30-11 02:31 PM   #50 
  - well, guess what we do with insane people who do crimes here in the US?  wordpix   Nov-30-11 10:16 PM   #54 
  - He has been diagnosed with Paranoid Schizofrenia  Lars77   Nov-29-11 11:01 AM   #22 
  - Fundamentalist RW thinking surely must be insane.  stillwaiting   Nov-29-11 11:10 AM   #24 
  - You're describing severe paranoia. nt  EFerrari   Nov-29-11 12:23 PM   #32 
  - not to muddy the waters any more, but ...  jobendorfer   Nov-29-11 12:00 PM   #25 
  - The largest provider of mental health services in the country  EFerrari   Nov-29-11 12:26 PM   #34 
     - Actually, the largest provider of mental health services in the country is Medicaid  slackmaster   Nov-29-11 01:06 PM   #38 
  - BBC: Norwegian disbelief at Breivik 'insanity'  Eugene   Nov-29-11 04:38 PM   #39 
  - It is surprising.  limpyhobbler   Nov-29-11 05:09 PM   #41 
     - Norway is a "Civil Law" system of justice  happyslug   Nov-30-11 02:46 AM   #44 
        - ok that does make sense  limpyhobbler   Nov-30-11 07:48 AM   #49 
  - I'm against the death penalty but I would make an exception for Mr Brevik. n/t  limpyhobbler   Nov-29-11 05:03 PM   #40 
  - Then you are not against the death penalty...  BadtotheboneBob   Nov-29-11 10:23 PM   #42 
     - I've never been for it before, I guess I changed my mind now , nt  limpyhobbler   Nov-30-11 07:29 AM   #48 
  - This video regarding Norway's prisons was originally titled something like  stellanoir   Nov-30-11 07:02 AM   #47 
  - Deleted message  Name removed   Nov-30-11 03:40 PM   #52 
  - " critical of Muslim immigration and European liberalism"  wordpix   Nov-30-11 10:20 PM   #55 
  - if he killed my loved ones i would want him dead .  roman7   Dec-01-11 02:42 PM   #56 
  - This troubles me in so many ways  War Horse   Dec-01-11 04:45 PM   #57 

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