Actually it is extremely likely that he had some kind of mental illness. Alter ego, lack of emotion, etc, all point to a mental breakdown.
While a psychotic break is not unlikely, I’m not ready to put my money on that just yet. The problem I have with these opinions is that, they’re just opinions. Whenever some mass killing happens, it’s because the person is “crazy” or “went crazy”, or whatever terminology gets thrown around. However, the same logic is not applied to say, men who commit rape, burglaries, or everyday shootings/killings. So, my question is, why does a ‘psychotic break’ only apply to people who commit the sort of crime that James Holmes committed? Is it the degree of the crime committed which determines this? Or, does this mean all crimes committed are only committed by people with severe mental disorders? People are trying to turn mental disorders, and mass murder into a mutually exclusive thing, and it’s not.
This defense is problematic in that it completely dismisses the very real possibility that he might just be a normal person, who committed a crime. Now we focus on what type of mental disorder he possibly suffers from, which may have caused this event, and, we completely take accountability and responsibility out of the equation —- I’m really uncomfortable with that. At this point, his mental health is all speculation. I haven’t read one report from a professional psychologist who has been able to examine Mr. Holmes, much less give us any real insight into a diagnosis for him. So until then, I’m not going to take the word of pseudo psychologists on the internet who don’t know what they’re talking about, when professionals cannot even make the distinction amongst themselves.
Personally, I don’t see why a person would plan an attack such as this, and not also plan out their defense. As I said, until a professional can diagnose this guy, I’m not going to put anything past him. To me, he’s just a normal guy who knows exactly how to mimic certain behaviors to supplement his courtroom strategy. Pleading insanity is his only defense, and, his lawyers have absolutely nothing else to go on besides trying their best to convince us he wasn’t aware what he was doing was wrong. There’s too much in this story that leads me to believe he absolutely did know what he was doing was wrong (booby trapping his apartment/telling the police/surrendering vs. suicide/wearing defensive gear/planning for months/etc). If it’s confirmed that he’s able to do all that in the midst of a mental breakdown, then I will take it all back. But, right now, I’m not going to indulge in potentially misdiagnosing a person’s mental state to justify or explain their behavior, to make it an easier pill to swallow.
Not to mention how completely irresponsible it is to speculate, considering how the mentally ill in this country are already treated like they’re subhuman —- shit like this just further fuels the already negative stigma we place on them.