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June 8, 2008

Mass Stabbing Spree In Tokyo by Tomohiro Kato

The other day I was talking to a friend that has struggled with anxiety and depression over the past few years and his response to my inquiry about his health was “Life is hard.” Yes, life can be hard and we need to be aware of when it is getting too hard for those around us.

A 25 year old man ran a truck into pedestrians and preceded to stab them after he got out of the truck. He told the police that he went to Akihabara to kill people and that he was tired of life and sick of everything. How hard does life have to be for you to get tired of it and go on a killing spree leaving seven people dead? Why would your apathy for life turn into a homicidal rage?

The world is no stranger to these types of killings. There are no boundaries or places where these types of mass killings do not occur. You just never know what is going through the mind of the stranger walking next to you. A facial expression often does not begin to illuminate the troubles that brew in some minds.

Unfortunately there is no sure way to prevent these crimes but I do think that the world needs to be more aware how deep mental illness runs on our planet. The way that our societies are set up becoming depressed or stressed out is very easy. Some of us find a way to get out of those states but if too many things occur at once, there is a chance that one can snap.

Even though the world has come a long way when it comes to how we look at mental illness, there is still a major stigma. I know people that fear depression more than HIV/AIDS. There is this huge dear of disease of the mind because they attack the part of our bodies that control everything. Depression, anxiety, bi-polar illness and all of the other mental illnesses that effect millions of people worldwide do not have to be a death sentence for the person that has them or the people around them. There are things to do when you are tired of life and nothing seems to be working out for you. Stabbing random people that have never done anything to you is not a viable option. Especially when a few weeks of treatment, medication or therapy, or both, can change the way that the world looks.

In Japan crimes such as this generally automatically carry the death penalty. Tomohiro Kato would know that so his crime spree is essentially a suicide by cop kind of situation. He has committed a crime that he knows will bring him death, the only piece of the puzzle that does not fit the suicide by cop theory is that he surrendered when police caught up to him. He did not do anything that would force them to shoot him. It is so sad to see what happens in a person’s pain explodes. Now seven people who were likely just out for Sunday shopping are dead. What a waste of precious life.

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