Elliot Rodger, the young man who shot and killed several people in Isla Vista CA was reported by the news media to have had Asperger’s syndrome (AS). AS is then linked to mental illness because of the irrational acts of Rodger. This is a misapplied link because AS is not a mental illness. It is a neurological difference that affects behavior at different levels of severity. It is not a mental illness, but can be a comorbidity.
While only briefly looking at Rodger’s video, and noting that I am not a psychologist or other specialist in mental illness, he appeared to be suffering from narcissism, paranoia, and severe delusions of grandeur. He also appeared to have abandonment issues. His high degree of intelligence and verbal ability were the only indicators of possible AS observed.
If I didn’t have a moderate amount of knowledge and experience with AS, I might be led to believe that AS caused this latest shooting rampage. I would have been led to this conclusion by the irresponsible, partial reporting of the news media. This is a problem.