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Adam Lanza's Psychiatric Treatment Revealed In Documents

December 30 2013 at 4:09 PM

Thanks to Anonymous for sending this.

Lanza's Psychiatric Treatment Revealed In Documents

December 28, 2013|By ALAINE GRIFFIN and JOSH KOVNER, The Hartford Courant

Buried in the thousands of pages of police reports released Friday into the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, new details about Adam Lanza's mental health and his treatment have emerged, revealing that he was seen at the Yale Child Study Center in his early teens and was prescribed the antidepressant Celexa.

The case files also delve deeper into the actions that Peter Lanza took on behalf of his son, Adam, in the years before and after Peter Lanza's divorce from Nancy Lanza in 2009. And the files reveal how Nancy Lanza appeared not to follow the advice of her son's physicians, taking her son off his medication and failing to reschedule missed appointments.

The newly released reports come at a time when members of the state's Sandy Hook Advisory Commission have sharply criticized the recently released prosecutor's summary of the investigation as lacking any real information about the mental health of the gunman who killed 20 first-graders and six educators on Dec. 14, 2012.

In August, Peter Lanza provided state police detectives with documents relating to Adam Lanza's schooling and "psychological history,'' according to the case files released Friday.

Included are emails between Peter Lanza and Kathleen Koenig, a clinical nurse specialist in psychiatry at the Yale Child Study Center in New Haven, "regarding her treatment sessions with the shooter, as well as an evaluation by" Dr. Paul Fox, a former Connecticut psychiatrist now living in New Zealand.

Details of a three-hour exam that Adam Lanza had in 2006 with another Yale Child Study psychiatrist, Dr. Robert A. King, were released for the first time Friday.

The Lanzas went to King after Peter Lanza sought help for his son through the Employee Assistance Program at his workplace, The General Electric Corp., according to a state police report.

Peter Lanza reported that his son told him when he was about 8 or 9 that he "loved being a kid," but that when he turned about 11 or 12, he seemed stressed, frustrated and less happy.

Adam Lanza, who was prone to anxiety, was becoming more isolated, too, and viewed his Newtown home as a "comfort zone," while school and interacting with his peers "led to pressure" for him, Peter Lanza told police.

According to the police files, King said that Adam Lanza "displayed a profound autism spectrum disorder with rigidity, isolation and a lack of comprehension of ordinary social interaction and communications." Lanza was also diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder.

King told police, "My concern was that the shooter's social isolation and withdrawal was increasing."

King recommended that Adam Lanza receive further treatment at the center and referred Nancy Lanza to Koenig.

In her sworn statement to police, Koenig said that she had four face-to-face meetings with Adam Lanza between October 2006 and February 2007 and corresponded with Nancy Lanza by telephone and through email messages.

At that time, Lanza was being seen by Fox, whom Koenig said was Lanza's "primary psychiatrist."

Koenig said that Lanza's obsessive compulsive disorder "severely limited his ability to lead a normal, well-adjusted life."

She described him as "emotionally paralyzed" and said that he would participate in multiple daily rituals like repeated hand washing and showering and obsessively changing the blue polo shirts and khaki pants that he wore exclusively behavior that forced Nancy Lanza to do up to three loads of laundry a day.

The report said that Adam Lanza would change socks 20 times a day.

She said that Adam Lanza was also sensitive to light and was unable to touch doorknobs with his bare hands.

Koenig prescribed Celexa and recommended that he have follow-up visits at her office.

But Nancy Lanza did not appear to take her advice, Koenig said.

"Koenig described Nancy Lanza's response to her recommendations as 'non-compliant,'" the police files said.

Once when Koenig prescribed a small dose of Celexa to Adam Lanza, Nancy Lanza called Koenig's office to report that Adam Lanza was "unable to raise his arm" and she blamed it on the medication. She told Koenig that her son would no longer be taking the medication.

Koenig attempted to convince Nancy Lanza that the medication was not causing the arm ailment but "Nancy Lanza was not receptive to Koenig's reasoning," the police reports said.

During her talks with Adam Lanza, Koenig said that he would ask her about schizophrenia and obsessive compulsive disorders but would never elaborate about whether he was experiencing any of the symptoms.

At one point the reports do not list a date Adam Lanza and his mother missed an appointment and never rescheduled the visit. Koenig contacted Fox and they agreed that Adam Lanza's "behavioral-based therapy would remain" his primary course of treatment and Koenig said she planned to assist Fox with Lanza.

"However, she stated that Adam Lanza never returned for a follow-up visit," the police files said.

The records don't indicate that there were additional treatment sessions for Lanza after February 2007.

Fox told police in a Dec. 17, 2012, telephone interview that he had destroyed any records he had of his treatment of Lanza but recalled last seeing him when he was about 15.He said the teen was "very rigid" and "resistant to engagement" and recalled him having "aggression problems."


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What Do We Want to Know About Adam Lanza and Why Do We Want to Know It?

December 30 2013, 6:22 PM 

"...And now we have, long overdue, the "Report of the State's Attorney... on the Shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School," issued by Connecticut State's Attorney Stephen J. Sedensky III. It is a report that leaves us asking for more, in particular about Lanza's mental health problems and treatments...

...At one point he was "being followed medically for seizure activities." What kind of seizure disorder did he have? One type, temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), is accompanied by pathological personality change and, rarely, with violent episodes. Did Lanza have TLE? If he did, was he treated? Did he refuse medication to treat this condition, as he had refused other suggested medications? Would that have made a difference?

The report leaves us far too much in the dark about these, and other, matters..."



For the full article by Harold I. Schwartz, M.D. Psychiatrist; member of Connecticut Governors Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, please see:


To me the report seems all too vague with regard to medication, and then there is the question of the psychiatric files that were (conveniently?) destroyed. 


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What we want to know about the diagnosis of Aspergers

December 30 2013, 9:28 PM 

Altogether so very vague.  Just as a very powerful industry like it perhaps?

For instance:

SSRIStories shared a link.

"To follow up on Sandy Hook....the report released contained little to help anyone know Adam Lanza's motive. Yet it said in 2005 he had been diagnosed with Aspbergers, an Autism disorder which means there were eight years in which he could easily have been medicated with antidepressants that are so commonly prescribed for Aspbergers. The drugs work by impairing serotonin metabolism which is known to produce impulsive murder and suicide. And a journal article out this month demonstrates that 64% of those with Autism disorders are taking antidepressants or other mind altering medications. Anything that impairs serotonin metabolism as antidepressants do are known in medical literature to produce impulsive murder and suicide, extreme violence, suicide, deadly sleep disorder which includes murder-suicide, etc. A database of school shootings and medications involved showing 68 out of 70 school shootings linked to antidepressant use can be found at

This article on the report out on Sandy Hook states that authorities "... tried within the limits of privacy laws to gather information on his medical treatment."

So since when do privacy laws apply after murder?! Never in any murder cases I worked! At that point medical records become "evidence" not information protected by privacy laws!"

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Re: What we want to know about the diagnosis of Aspergers

December 30 2013, 9:40 PM 

"...This article on the report out on Sandy Hook states that authorities "... tried within the limits of privacy laws to gather information on his medical treatment..."


Which kind of ties up with my nagging suspicion that it may have been 'convenient' for the psychiatrist to have destroyed Adam's records.  Very little medication information (in the report), except for what seems to be an industry plea that it wasn't the drug - it was because his (deceased) mother stopped him from taking the drug - just another version of blaming the medicated for iatrogenic psychosis and hallucinations...and homicides (or the mother who cannot cast further light on the matter as she also became a fatal victim on that day).

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Newtown Panel Says It Wants Even More Information On Shooter's Mental Health History

January 7 2014, 9:27 PM

Members of a state commission reviewing the Newtown school massacre say they still need more information and documentation about the shooter and his mental health history, despite the recent release by police of thousands of pages of investigative documents.

Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson, chairman of the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission appointed by Gov. Dannel Malloy, said the panel still doesn't have enough information to make substantial recommendations on changes to the mental health system in the wake of the Dec. 14, 2012, shooting, which left 20 first-graders and six educators dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The shooter, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, also killed his mother, Nancy, at home and committed suicide when police arrived at the school.

"One of the things that we really talked about quite a bit was that we need to understand the story of Adam Lanza and Nancy Lanza, and we don't really have it," Jackson said. "We got the littlest taste with the state's attorney's report. It was fleshed out a little bit here, but there's still more, particularly for the folks who are treatment professionals. In order to understand how he got to where he was from a treatment standpoint, they're going to need a little bit more."

The Connecticut State Police released reams of documents Dec. 27 from the yearlong police investigation. It followed the earlier release of a summary report by State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky III. Among the new documents were summaries of police interviews with mental health professionals who came in contact with Adam Lanza, but commission members said his actual records appear to be missing.

"It's better than nothing to have these summaries, but these summaries are not by clinical people. They're by the state police. And I don't understand how it would not be better for us to have direct information that we can interpret for ourselves," said Dr. Harold Schwartz, psychiatrist-in-chief at Hartford Hospital's Institute for Living and a commission member who has suggested the panel directly approach Adam Lanza's father and request that he provide such documents.

Jackson said a law firm is combing through the thousands of pages released by police and trying to index the information to make it easier for the commission to review it. In the meantime, he said, the panel is attempting to obtain primary documents. While he hasn't yet asked the gunman's father, Peter Lanza, for documents or to meet with commission members, Jackson said, "it is something that still may be helpful."

"If there is a gap in the treatment record, understanding how that developed and what impact that later had on this enormous tragedy, that's a systemic issue that needs to be addressed," Jackson said.

It is good, Schwartz said, to finally have an official diagnosis of Adam Lanza on the record. Dr. Robert A. King, a professor at the Yale School of Medicine Child Study Center, told investigators that he diagnosed Lanza in 2006 with "profound Autism Spectrum Disorder, with rigidity, isolation and a lack of comprehension of ordinary social interaction and communications," while also displaying symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder. But Schwartz said the synopsis provided of the Yale assessment "really doesn't tell us a whole lot about the system."

Lanza's father has said his son had Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism. It is not associated with violence.

Mental health professionals who sit on Malloy's commission have said they ultimately want to recommend how Connecticut and other states can better help families like the Lanzas, who may be struggling to find appropriate mental health care for their children.

"Every incremental piece of information that we can have, I think, just adds to our growing body of knowledge, both about the mental health system and how to make it better for everybody and potentially about the minds of mass murderers and their developments," Schwartz said.

A similar commission was created in the wake of the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech. Schwartz said that panel was provided with the medical records of the shooter and information about how he had been committed on an outpatient basis for a psychiatric evaluation but didn't follow up, ultimately slipping through the cracks.

"Because they knew, they had the information from his psychiatric history, they were able to focus on an important issue in public policy and make recommendations about it," Schwartz said. Connecticut legislators have discussed the possibility of instituting outpatient commitment following the shooting at Sandy Hook but have not yet made any changes to current law.

Besides compiling the mental health recommendations, the commission still needs to review its earlier suggestions on gun laws and put together recommendations on school safety. Jackson said he hopes to have a final set of proposals ready by the end of March but acknowledged that is an ambitious deadline.

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