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I no way support school shooters but agree that school shooters are most likely to be those whose mental health is affected by ongoingly bullying or unsupported, or ineffectively supported issues fitting in.
Those targeted to a to a devastatingly humiliating degree; or are left out (even unintentionally) for simply being a bit ‘different’ are surely more likely to experience issues with their mental health- or even simply momentary anger.
When bullying happens day in day out, day in day out, day in day out, day in day out, day in day out, day in day out, day in day out, day in day out, day in day out, day in day out, week after week after week after week – for months or years, then the stress has tendency to BUILD UP!
This could affect the mental health, emotions or behaviour of ‘anyone’ or any ‘type’ of person’. Media mis-information suggests that people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are prone to violence and school shootings.
It is not that people on the Autistic spectrum are prone to violence, or, that violence is a trait of ASD. It is more likely that those on the spectrum are disproportionally bullied or left out to more than an average degree – day in day out, day in day out, day in day out, day in day out, day in day out, week after week after week after week – for months or years.
High-functioning people with ASD tend to slip through the net as their difficulties are missed. Or, if they are content in their own company (as those on the spectrum often are) it is assumed they have no desire for friends. They may say don’t need friends.
But for some, saying this may be a way to deal with the prospect of rejection, or the humiliation and inadequacy they feel from feeling like, and being treated as, a misfit.
Being treated as though they are younger than their peers because they are less socially developed, is humiliating and can be both hard to see and hard to explain. This on top of being bullied, excluded or misunderstood can spell trouble.
Due to their communication differences or difficulties, people with ASD are also more likely to have their desperate anguish, needs or desires, ignored or misunderstood and thus not effectively supported. If people whose name began with an infrequent letter like ‘Z’ were bullied, left out or had their desperate anguish, needs or desires ignored day in day out, day in day out, day in day out, day in day out, week after week after week after week, for months or years, then likely there would a disproportionate number of shooters whose name began with Z.
It doesn’t mean that having a name beginning with the letter Z is characteristic of a shooter, or that people with name beginning with Z are a threat. But the oddity of the disproportion would likely be sited such by the media that want to sell newspapers.
This is not to say those that are bullied and humiliated (more than average), are violent but surely, they would be disproportionately more likely to become mentally ill, or even just momentarily enraged to the extent that they react with violence, than people that only have to deal with the average amount and type of bullying, or no bullying. Bullying, bullies, Teachers and bodies not taking effective action are a threat. It’s time they woke up to this. Schools that say they take action on bullying within ‘their definitions’ of bullying likely hold far too narrow a definition of bullying.
For example – pretending to be romantically or platonically interested in the socially misfitting classmate, just to get a laugh from one’s peers, is a form or bullying. But this likely is not part of their school’s definition of bullying. There are many other forms of bullying that don’t fit the definition.
Making someone feel unworthy, even if done so indirectly, by ignoring them for no genuine reason, ‘is’ or can be ‘felt as’ deeply humiliating bullying.
We shouldn’t have to make friends with those we don’t want to be friends with – and ‘befriending’ someone out of pity, guilt or do-gooding, is a risk that can add to the feelings of humiliation often felt by people that have difficulty fitting in. But if we treat people that don’t fit our criteria for friendship, with ongoing humiliation or disregard, there might be a consequence some time down the line.
It could end in deaths: Suicides or murders.
Bad news sells more paper (or so they say). But perhaps it also causes more deaths.
If bullied or social misfitting individuals read about people they can relate to, gaining solace, taking revenge in violent ways because no-one is listening, could it be likely that it strikes a chord in them and becomes woven into the declining metal health of the individual, and thus become a behavioral guide? Perhaps, in their sheer desperation to be rid of the bullying, it seems the only way to deal with what the school isn’t dealing with.
I’m no psychologist – But I’m a human being and it seems logical to me that there is a pattern here. It is not an Autistic pattern. It’s a societal pattern.
When selling newspapers becomes more important that lives, there is something wrong.
When misinforming an unquestioning society, by inciting fear and hatred of a group of people, to sell newspapers occurs, something is wrong.
The bad news is that bullying may not end when students leave school.
Bullying occurs in the workplace too. But if one has gone through school with it ingrained into them to be a victim, then it is likely to be picked up by work-peers, bosses and even staff they manage, who might bully them too. The bullying by adults tends to be more sophisticated though, so even harder to see.
When people being bullying or receiving lesser respect than their peers in the workplace seek support to deal with it, they are often labelled as trouble-makers and may even be sacked. This happened to me.
I have Asperger’s Syndrome. As I am well-developed, my needs slip through the net and my traits and misunderstanding of them cause disconcertment to colleagues.
My diagnosis came as an adult of 38. I feel the lack of appropriate support through childhood and adulthood has led to my low socioeconomic status and social-worth as an adult. This is even though my ‘self’-worth is high.
‘How dare you have high self-worth and the expectation of being treated with equal respect to your peers’ has been an indirect bullying message I have received for far too long.
But it isn’t just me. There are many of us on the spectrum that experience this. Just like any other group of dis-proportionally bullied group, only a tiny proportion of us get so desperate that we take to the gun.
I have trained as a life-coach and love-coach to people with Asperger’s and I love life. www.empoweredrelating.com