Psychiatrist: Mental illness real issue in the country - FOX Carolina 21

Psychiatrist: Mental illness real issue in the country

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GREER, SC (FOX Carolina) -

There have been several mass shootings in recent years, the latest took place in Newtown, CT. Investigators say 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed 27 people including 20 children.

"They have some kind of emotional problems, we call that mental illness," Dr. Sunil Bhatia said.

Bhatia is a psychiatrist with the Greer Mental Health Clinic.

"Most of the mental illness patients who get into trouble with the law would be for petty crimes, not understanding the norms," Bhatia said.

He said mental illness varies and although there are no reports as of now about Lanza's state of mind, Bhatia said he experienced some kind of mental disconnect.

"He had something against probably his mother, he went to his mother's classroom, but then killed all of the kids, I mean that doesn't - it's not easy to explain," Bhatia said.

He said sometimes those who are mentally ill are misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all. Then, those who are suffering often don't get the help they need or the support from the community.

"I think that some of the people who should be in mental asylums are finding their place in the prison system," Bhatia said.

However, he knows when massacres take place, society wants someone to be punished.

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