jackie2's Blog

Dr. Jackie's Mental Health Moment

jackie2

jackie2
Location
Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, USA
Birthday
August 01
Title
Clinical Psychologist
Company
Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade
Bio
Only child of holocaust survivors from Eastern and Central Europe, grew up in Phila., Central PA, and NYC (2nd home). Psychologist since 1970 working with children and adults in wide variety of selttings, including schools, hospital, courts, private office, and prisons.

Jackie2's Links

Salon.com
DECEMBER 15, 2012 7:04PM

Culture of Violence?

Rate: 3 Flag

From playing cowboys and Indians in the 1950's to playing videogames to kill hundreds of aliens or humans, violence has always been part of play. As in dealing with fairy tales which have bad wolves and witches who bake kids, these rituals desensitize children to normal fears of life. News always included war, at least somewhere, and genoicide happened somewhere in every generation. Of course, did the media spell out every detail of every going-postal-type incident over and over again? Some "crazy guy" shot up people in a subway or a building or terrorized with a bomb somewhere, ever here, every now and then.

When we have several mass killings in a row, we start analyzing our mental health and gun policies. They're never adequate enough, for sure. Neither is family life securely guaranteed and childrearing falls short fall too often. But, most people with mental health problems and most gun owners, most isolated and abused children, most spoiled children, aren't violent.

So what is the cause of all the shootings by anger, disturbed people this decade? My guess is contagion. Like suicide becomes popular for while in a high school once two people do it, like sex abuse multiplies when someone gets away with it in sports or church, means of creating tragedy catch on when they are popularized in the fiction and real media. It's sickening and it would be great if we popularize helping people, being sensitive, making peace, creating art, talking about relationships. We do try but let's try harder.

Your tags:

TIP:

Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:

Comments

Type your comment below:
I think many children are literally saturated in violent images from very early on, and it desensitizes them to their own feelings. I remember watching things I hated with my friends or family, and thinking, oh, I guess this is just what one does, it's okay to feel so bad watching something. This is what fun and entertainment are.

My parents grew up without TV, and what they learned was directly from their own experience, from their parents and teachers. My children grew up hearing and viewing some of the most unspeakable things people do to one another. It affects us...most of us don't go on a shooting rampage, but I'll be it increases the level of anxiety and depression in a culture, to be fed a steady diet of, "humans are cruel to one another," from infancy onward.

Maybe most people are not violent, but many, many are, there is a lot of hidden violence in this society. We don't know if the shooter was bullying his mother or shoving her around, we just don't know, the two of them lived alone. But I know single mothers can have problems with their teenage sons intimidating , bullying, threatening them. What we see might be the tip of the iceberg. Even going to a counsellor such as yourself, people may be afraid to tell the whole truth. People are afraid to have the state involved, ashamed of their own weakness.
You have hit the nail on the head. Our society and media are filled with violent shows and news. Our politicians make their points with violent images such as "killing a bill", "targeting a Congressman", etc. I do not know how we can change this but I know we must try. Unfortunately this incident will probably begin to fade and everyone will return to their usual ways. That also will be a tragedy.
You have hit the nail on the head. Our society and media are filled with violent shows and news. Our politicians make their points with violent images such as "killing a bill", "targeting a Congressman", etc. I do not know how we can change this but I know we must try. Unfortunately this incident will probably begin to fade and everyone will return to their usual ways. That also will be a tragedy.
You thoughts are very right. I think the media does a disservice to society be sensationalizing violence.

Rated.
Your comments to my post are so apropos. It continues unfettered now with almost forgiving media analysis of the shooter, as well as the more sympathetic look at the victims, where the attention is warranted.