Last week, The New Yorker published a profile of Peter Lanza, the father of Newtown shooter Adam Lanza. His pain over the tragedy his son caused is palpable and heart breaking – at one point he says he wishes his son had never been born.
In the profile, Lanza described his son as starting out as “just a normal little weird kid.”
Although Adam Lanza never got an accurate mental health diagnosis, his random act of violence indicates that he wasn’t quite “normal” and most likely suffered from some form of psychosis.
So how can a parent tell the difference between normal childhood behaviors, like temper tantrums and imaginary friends, and the beginnings of what could be a serious mental health issue, like bipolar depression or schizophrenia?
Dr. Olayinka Harding, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist