Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Case of Travis Reinking: Failing to Treat Mental Illness

The most depressing coda on Travis Reinking— the Waffle House shooter— comes to us from James Freeman of the Wall Street Journal. To Freeman, it was:

... another story involving years of red flags on mental health that did not result in necessary treatment. 

Ought we not to ask ourselves what our licensed credentialed mental health professionals are doing with their time? If something in the culture prevents them from doing a good job, we ought to know about it. At a time when psychiatry possesses a veritable pharmacopeia to treat mental illness, why did its practitioners fail to treat Travis Reinking?

Reinking’s history shows clear signs of mental illness. TheWall Street Journal reports:

Mr. Reinking had an extensive history of mental issues, according to law enforcement in Tennessee and the Illinois county where he lived before moving to the Nashville area.

Federal and local law-enforcement agents said Mr. Reinking was arrested near the White House grounds last July, after entering a restricted area in hopes of getting an appointment with the president and refusing to leave. He said that he was a “sovereign citizen” and had a right to inspect the grounds, court records show.

And also,

In May 2016, he was convinced that singer Taylor Swift was stalking him and hacking his phone, and that his family was in on it, according to reports from the sheriff’s office in Tazewell County, obtained by The Wall Street Journal.

His family informed officials that he’d been having such delusions since 2014, according to the reports. Ms. Swift’s publicist didn’t respond to a request for comment.

When sheriff’s deputies in Illinois tried to get him to a nearby hospital for evaluation, Mr. Reinking resisted until he was told that he didn’t have a choice.

A spokesman for the Nashville Metropolitan Police Department said it was unclear if he was diagnosed with a mental illness.

And there were the auditory hallucinations:

In August, Mr. Reinking approached the sheriff’s office, saying he believed 20 to 30 people were tapping his phone and that he was hearing people “outside his residence barking like dogs,” according to the report from August 2017.

It ought to have been enough. Apparently, it was not.


Dan Patterson said...

In our present world of ignoring reality, what would it take for a self-professed mentally ill man to be treated appropriately? The two conditions are self-cancelling and the result is a continuation of the trend, ending in disaster.

Anonymous said...

Reinking isn’t the only mental case in his family:


This is how our 2nd Amendment rights crumble. Dad should be in jail.