Here are a couple of interesting items exploring the mental health issues potentially involved with Major Nidal Malik Hasan’s shooting rampage at Fort Hood – conclusion, he’s sane.
Howard Bloom asks, What if Nidal Malik Hasan is Sane? Psychology Today blog.
Were they the insane acts of a man driven over the edge by the vicarious stress of war? By the strain of hearing horror stories from the traumatized veterans of battles in Iraq and Iran?
No. Nidal Malik Hasan’s acts were in all probability very, very sane. But the roots of their sanity lie in a belief system that is alien to us. A belief system we have been fighting since at least 1993 when the first attempt on the World Center was made. That attempt was made by sane, rational, idealistic men. Men who believed in a compelling and widespread weltanschauung, a weltanschauung that wants to liberate the world.
Katherine van Wormer asks, The Hasan Shootings: Method, Madness, or Both?, Psychology Today blog.
Several theories have emerged to explain the psychiatrist’s seemingly crazed act. The first was that indeed Hasan was crazed, that he suddenly just cracked from the stress of listening to patients’ traumatic experiences in the Middle East and the knowledge that he would soon be shipped overseas himself. There was some thought given to the fact that he was suffering from secondary trauma. A second theory focuses on Hasan’s radical Muslim beliefs, his Palestinian heritage, and his reported connections with radical clerics who advocated terrorism. A third likens the rampage to workplace shootings by a disgruntled employee. In some ways, the mass shootings bear a resemblance to some of the mass shootings, usually done by disturbed, unpopular youths or unemployed middle aged men bent on revenge. Contagion is one possible explanation for the shootings haven’t seen in news reports but something that should be given consideration. A fourth theory also not mentioned in the news but with a certain plausibility is the suicide impulse, that by engaging in a menacing act such as a mass shooting, the person will almost certainly be killed, perhaps by the phenomenon known as suicide-by-cop, perhaps later by execution.