Focusing on Virginia Tech mass murderer Cho as a disturbed mental patient has led media analysts to ponder how he could have been more readily identified by the mental health system. But Cho is not someone who slipped beneath the psychiatric radar. Instead, he was frequently detected as a large object on the screen. On separate occasions, he was involuntarily hospitalized, sent for psychological evaluation, and referred to the university counseling center. Consistent with getting him more psychiatric “help,” experts have also opined on how he might have benefited from medication. These are all the wrong lessons.
Something most remarkable and unexpected has occurred in the field of psychiatry. Lead by a lifelong defender and promoter of shock treatment, Harold Sackeim, a team of investigators has