Mental illness, Women or Asperger’s: Why did Elliot Rodger kill innocents in San Diego?

Elliot Rodger in one of his posted videos

WASHINGTON, May 28, 2014 —  The massacre committed by Elliot Rodger on and around the University of California, Santa Barbara where six people were killed and 13 wounded before he killed himself is unfortunately a story that is becoming increasingly familiar.

It is apparent, due to the absurd suggestion that somehow women were what cause the attack, that people are desperate for an explanation on why this type of incident keeps happening.

Some media outlets have latched on to the reports that Rodger like, Adam Lanza before him, was diagnosed as a young boy with Asperger’s syndrome.

Asperger’s is a “high functioning” form of autism. Children and adults with Aspergers have difficulty with social interactions and often cannot understand social cues from others.

They tend to not make eye contact and have difficulty engaging in appropriate conversations but they tend to have above average intelligence.

Due to the lack of empathy for others, focus tends to immediately highlight the diagnosis of Asperger’s in mass murderers.

However, he problem with this theory is there is absolutely no evidence of Asperger’s Disorder being linked to violence.

Children with autism or Asperger’s may react unpredictably or even aggressively on occasion, but they are not any more prone to violence than those without autism or Aspurgers. In fact, the aggressive outbursts carried out by children on the autism spectrum are usually directed at themselves and result in self harm rather than against other individuals.

If violence is not associated with Asperger’s syndrome, then what caused Rodger’s attack?

It is possible that Rodger was also suffering from another mental illness or even that his diagnosis of Asperger’s was a miss-diagnosis of a schizoid disorder.

Schizoid Personality Disorder, similarly to Asperger’s, is characterized by detachment from social relationships.

The person with Schizoid Personality Disorder has great difficulty forming relationships or friendships and often is seen as cold or detached.

Due to the difficulty with forming close relationships, a schizoid is often seen as a “loner.”

People with schizoid personality disorder are predisposed to brief psychotic episodes. Although violent attacks form a schizoid person are rare, when they do occur the attacks are extreme.

From the limited information that has been revealed, Schizoid Personality Disorder criteria fits the description of Newton, Connecticut shooter, Adam Lanza better than Rodger, although it could easily be confused with Asperger’s syndrome.

Elliot Rodger’s behavior seems better explained by Borderline Personality Disorder.

Borderline is a psych social disorder that effects how a person copes with their emotions.

Those who struggle with Borderline often deal with the world by directing race against society. This rage is often unexpected, unpredictable and unexpected.

Often the person with this type of personality disorder does feel regret after the incidences of rage but in extreme situations like the San Diego massacre, it is too late for regret.

The anger Rodger felt from women on campus and his roommates can be explained by a phenomenon experienced by Borderline Personality Disorder called Splitting.

Splitting causes the belief that others are all good or all bad. Splitting makes it nearly impossible for someone with BPD to understand that a “good” person will sometimes make mistakes or that a “bad” person can be kind and giving.

Splitting can be very confusing for those who experience it and can lead to severe anger outbursts.

It is possible that Rodger saw his fellow students as “bad” people.

A person with BPD will change facts to fit their perceptions of someone.

Family members of those suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder describe incidents of rage against them for reasons such as carrying the grocery bags the wrong way, buying bed sheets that felt too heavy on their bodies at night and even for being too perfect if one day no mistakes can be found.

Regardless of what name we give it, Elliot Rodger clearly had a mental illness that led him to taking the lives of innocent victims and causing others enormous physical and psychological pain.

He did not commit these crimes because he had Asperger’s, which is not a mental illness nor did he do it because a young women did not smile at him one day or refused to go out on a date with him.

Women do not “owe” any man a date in the same way that no man “owes” a woman a date.

No one caused this tragedy except Elliot Rodger.

We as a society need to be educated and compassionate enough to not blame autism and not blame the women.

We cannot blame the victims.

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  • Howard

    Rodger killed people in Santa Barbara, yet your headline mentions San Diego. I do not see San Diego and Rodger mentioned together in the article. Might be good to correct the headline.