Mental Illness and the Serial Killer

“Brain In Head” by smokedsalmon
Photo Courtesy of
“Are you a serial killer?”
I laughed hearing that question, but after a moment, it gave me pause. What made me different from someone who killed others? What made me realize that killing was wrong? Is it the alleged moral conscience we all have that guides me and leads me in the correction direction? Sure, in my fiction, my characters are involved in more than enough bloodshed, but that is fiction. Fiction is not reality, and I am able to separate the two, but what about those that can’t? What about those that can’t determine which world they actually live in?


With a temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit and rising, I figured it out. While staring at the ceiling, I heard the sound of classical music, which I was able to conduct with my mind. It was almost as if my brain was an antenna receiving a superb frequency for classical music – Bach, Mozart and Beethoven; Pacabel and Albinoni. In that mental haze, I was unable to function. With glazed over eyes and an inability to even comb my hair, I’d succumb to fever, and began to hallucinate.

            I’d never experienced something so real before. It was almost as if speaking to God and hearing his crystal clear responses, a voice so vivid, so electrifying and alive. If I’d continued in that state, and not received urgent medical care, the results could have been deadly. But I learned a valuable lesson. Hallucinations are something that we all have the potential to experience, but for some of us, they live in a world where their hallucinations have become their reality. They are the mentally ill that live among us in the global community.

Penis soup?

The news has given rise to an increased number of cases, where individuals, who seem to be suffering from some form of psychosis or another, are engaging in abnormal behavior, and have even caused many to believe that the zombie apocalypse is a true possibility. Most recently, news of cannibalism was reported in Papua New Guinea in an article called, Cannibal Cult Arrested for Making Penis Soup. According to the story, members of a cult were attacking sorcerers, killing them and eating their raw brains and making penis soup. This is of course in addition to the recent bath salts and cocaine/LSD psychotic meltdowns. With such chaos among us, I can’t help but wonder what is happening? Are we all on our way to mental meltdowns?

Mental Illness Defined

            Mental illness can be the result of environment and/or genetics and under the “right” circumstances anyone can go insane. Insanity is defined as, “mental illness of such a severe nature that a person cannot distinguish fantasy from reality, cannot conduct her/his affairs due to psychosis, or is subject to uncontrollable impulsive behavior. Insanity is distinguished from low intelligence or mental deficiency due to age or injury.”

            Mental illness is sometimes the result of heavy drug use, genetics or even an overabundance of stress, whereby one is unable to cope with the magnitude of life’s ups and downs. It is a state that we could all find ourselves in should our pleasant and manageable lives suddenly take a nose dive.

Although mental illness is not understood in our society – ranging from depression to other more severe forms of psychosis, the fact is, it is something we need to come to accept and learn the warning signs of. Yet, let’s face the truth of the matter. Not every mentally ill person will murder someone; anyone could be a killer. We all are capable of brutality – both sane and insane. We kill to survive everyday – be it for food or to be rid of the vermin in our homes. Life is still life. Is there really any difference? Not for that ant or spider you just squished. Their existence ceased.

When we refuse to acknowledge the value that any life has, not just human life, we begin to wander the path of psychosis, rationalizing what it means to kill.

Just as we all have potential to do great good, we can also do great evil. In each of us is the potential to be a serial killer; could it be that we’re all just one mental break down away? What are your thoughts? All I can say is if violence is the end all to violence, then it matters not if we are sane or insane, for the outcome brings only death. Yet, if we learn to care for those around us, cherishing our fellow man, helping him to rise above the perceived evils, then we save not only one man, we potentially save thousands. Fray – How T__________________

Tina Glasneck is the writer of the suspense novel, THOU SHALL NOT. She loves creating unique three-dimensional characters and story with grit. She blogs on W3 on the second and fourth Fridays of the month. You can also follow her on Twitter: @TinaGlasneck and connect with her on Facebook on her fanpage


2 thoughts on “Mental Illness and the Serial Killer

  1. Excellent post and so very timely (unfortunately!). I've been reading news accounts of 'bath salts' usage and it makes one wonder why someone would – almost – volunteer for madness when so many are struggling to overcome their emotional and mental problems. There is something very self-destructive lurking in most of us and sometimes it tries to overwhelm us.


  2. Thanks Grace!
    I struggled to write that post. I think a lot of people are looking for ways to escape from their realities. By indulging in a fantasy, they feel that they can stop the pain, stress or whatever it is that is overwhelming them. The same is true for drug use and addiction. It allows people to escape- but what a horrible price to pay.

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