From a news account: "A longtime neighbor in San Diego, where Holmes grew up, remembers only a 'shy guy ...a loner' from a churchgoing family. In addition to playing soccer at Westview High School, he ran cross country."

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Thank you Tony! Always wonderful talking to you! A joy! You be well too.

Steph,

Which group is this?

http://www.atheistnexus.org/group/loners-and-introverts
Here's a link to my Loners and Introverts group Brian.

Thanks Steph, I'll check it out.

Cool! Thanks! I'd love to have you in the group if you are interested.

I joined up and posted my first reply!

And I don't think it has to do with introversion and extroversion. If you had a population of each and found the incidence rate of each group, I think it is highly unlikely to be those factors. I don't know what other factors.

I have been reading whatever I can find, and no clear image is coming through to me. How do we see the psychotic break before it happens? 

Thank you Brian for joining the group. And thank you Joan for joining the group too. I agree I don't think it has to do with introversion or extroversion.

Steph, being a loner or an introvert is not necessarily a clue to mental illness. Many loners just don't like small talk and have interests that others do not share. A healthy  introvert looks inside him/herself for answers to challenges. 

Of course you would never hurt anyone. In fact, you make everyone feel important and special. If I remember correctly, you are an INTJ, (Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging). How would our world benefit without such personalities? No! we need people who have ideas, strategic planning, are insightful, a natural leader, and I could go on, but you have read the profile. 
Portrait of an INTJ

"INTJs are one of the rarest of the sixteen personality types, and account for about 1–4% of the population."[2][3] Wikipedia. 

"Portrait of the Mastermind". Keirsey Temperament Scale 

"All Rationals are good at planning operations, but Masterminds are head and shoulders above all the rest in contingency planning. Complex operations involve many steps or stages, one following another in a necessary progression, and Masterminds are naturally able to grasp how each one leads to the next, and to prepare alternatives for difficulties that are likely to arise any step of the way. Trying to anticipate every contingency, Masterminds never set off on their current project without a Plan A firmly in mind, but they are always prepared to switch to Plan B or C or D if need be."

http://www.keirsey.com/4temps/mastermind.aspx

You have good company!

As a retired academic, I know from experience that failure in graduate school can have serious psychological consequences. Bright students are sometimes over-invested in intellectual abilities, compensating for social deficits. Graduate studies are much harder than undergraduate programs. Students are sometimes allowed to spend years working at a thesis before it becomes clear they cannot succeed.

If academic success is the only thing you have going for you and you fail at it, the fall is hard to take. It may look as though life is over and nothing remains. Anger can turn against the thesis advisor, the department, or the university.

Theodore Streleski murdered Karel de Leeuw in 1978 with a hammer after failing to complete his Ph.D. thesis in mathematics after 19 years at Stanford. He served seven years in prison and was later interviewed on the Donahue Show.

To Dr. Clark...I read your note after I wrote mine.  Glad to see confirmation of the deleterious mental effects of graduate study, which I have observed first-hand. 

I'm not ready, at least at this stage, to pin this one on "theism." Until there is more information, it just seems as it's too convenient a scapegoat. I have worked (as an attorney) in the field of mental health for decades, side by side with psychologists and psychiatrists. Which, I'm the first to admit, does not make me one by any stretch of the imagination. 

But, one thing I have learned, is that it can strike anyone, at anytime. Especially, though not necessarily, if there is a history of it in the family. As a prosecutor, I once had to try a case for involuntary commitment to a mental institution on a young and promising attorney, who had virtually overnight lost his grip on reality. Did the same with an Air Force cryptologist (unlike the movie, she was a real cryptologist). And, as a defense attorney, I had a musician who, at one time, was the opening act at the AstroDome in Houston, had his music videos all over TV. And, the last I heard after he was released, is living on the streets and penniless.

People have breaks with reality everyday. Some stand on the street corner chasing away invisible vampires in broad daylight. Others are relatively happy go lucky thinking they're the reincarnation of Teddy Roosevelt. And others get guns and try to kill the imagined "evil ones" around them.  Like diabetes or cancer, no one asks to be stricken with mental illness.

My heart goes out to the families of those who tragically lost loved ones. And, if the shooter is sane, the Courts will deal with him. If insane, no matter where they put him, he'll have his own private hell to live in.

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