(9) comments Back to story

Bailey Jones

$600K to treat Galveston's mentally ill criminal population sounds like a bargain to me.

Bill Cochrane

Yeah, a bargain. Now if we could only find a way to treat mentally ill children and teens at affordable costs, we might have fewer school shootings AND mentally ill felons. It appears we are starting at the wrong end of the problem.

Bailey Jones

That's how we roll, Bill.

Carlos Ponce

"Now if we could only find a way to treat mentally ill children and teens at affordable costs...."

Two things that will help. First, growing up in a traditional family. Second, a religious upbringing involving everyone in that family. This from Harvard:

"Religious upbringing linked to better health and well-being during early adulthood"


John Lennon wrote "Imagine ....and no religion, too". We don't have to "imagine. We can see the results. The Santa Fe shooter declared himself an "atheist".

Bailey Jones

The results in the article are specific to "spiritual practices, including daily prayer and meditation". Mindfulness meditation is a non-religious practice that has been shown to bring about positive psychological effects, including increased subjective well-being, reduced psychological symptoms and emotional reactivity, and improved behavioral regulation. It can be taught at school with no concerns about church vs state, and can be easily integrated into the practices of any religion at home. I took a meditation course while I was in high school and it has served me very well over the decades.

Jim Forsythe

Mental illness does not happen all at once. If you have ever had to deal with a young person that was mentality ill, you would know that most of the time they change from the person they were, to a person that you may not know how they will act.. They may quit any organized clubs, churches and become isolated from the outside world. They may give away all they own or make plans to hurt others. The people that I have had in my life, that had problems, did not become ill in just one day. Even with professional help, they still killed themselves.

Unusual behavior :One of the main warning signs of a mental illness is change, Dr. Everett says. Often these kinds of illnesses don’t happen one day to the next,” she explains. “They happen over time, but the time can be something as short as a couple of weeks or a month. We compare the way things are now to the person’s history.”

Dimitrios Pagourtzis changed from a young person that cared about church and it actives, to on that denounced it. This was a sign that he was having trouble.

Sometimes the ones around them do not recognize that they are in trouble, until they are completely not in control of their actions.

Dimitrios Pagourtzis had a history of being active in his church, until he started to change. He even was at a church active in may of 2018.

CHURCH: "Dimitrios Pagourtzis was known for being heavily involved in his church, St. John the Theologian in Webster.

Dimitrios Pagourtzis was a member of Asperia Dance Troupe, part of the church's outreach program. He performed most recently at the Clear Lake Greek Festival, held every May as a fundraiser for the church."

The Pagourtzis family belongs to a local Greek Orthodox Church parish, according to a priest in a nearby parish.

“He is a quiet boy,” said Father Stelios Sitaras of Assumption of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church in Galveston, who met Pagourtzis when his dance troupe performed at a festival last October (2017).

Carlos Ponce

The Santa Fe's Facebook page shows he was an atheist despite dancing with the Greek Orthodox Youth group. Similar to the Columbine High School shooters who also proclaimed atheism, wore trench coats, and idolized Gothic imagery. "Pagourtzis uploaded a picture of a jacket adorned with several pinned symbols. In captions, he explained the significance of each: the Communist Party’s hammer and sickle representing rebellion, Nazi Germany’s Iron Cross representing bravery, the Japanese rising sun for the tactics of kamikaze pilots, the Knights Templar’s Baphomet for evil and the Cthulhu from science fiction for power." - WAPO

"He started wearing the trench coat a few weeks before the school shooting in Parkland, Fla.[Feb 14, 2018] , she [Juliette Rachele, 17, Santa Fe senior] said. And at one point, the group joked that he looked just like the Columbine shooters in it. But Pagourtzis laughed it off. 'He laughed and put his hat on backwards, and we all laughed,' she said. “He liked World War II a lot. . . . He was mostly fascinated by the German side just because he liked the different guns that they had because he thought they were cool looking.”

"Pagourtzis wrote in journals on his computer about plans to attack the school, then turn the gun on himself."


Was his atheism the reason for the shootings? No, but it was a symptom of his decline.

Carlos Ponce

Correction: The Santa Fe shooter's Facebook page

Jim Forsythe

Just as I said, Mental illness does not happen all at once. One Young man that I was around, had been seen by a psychiatrist for many years, but my looking back, he had started rejecting all outside groups, even as he was still involved in them. All the symbolism of hate that you posted is indictive that Dimitrios Pagourtzis mental health was in decline.

When a person is with a person every day, such as a school mate or co-worker, it is hard to see the small differences that are happening over a span of time. As you posted about six months before, Dimitrios Pagourtzis started with the trench coat and this was one of the changes. This may have been the start of his last spiral, that ended the way it did.

"The hardest thing for me to cope with as a person with depression is the downward spiral. It could be triggered by something big and life-changing or a series of small things. What begins the spiral is irrelevant. It is the feelings associated with the spiraling down that makes it so devastating.

The feelings of hopelessness and despair become overwhelming. Depression will strike out at all those weak spots, targeting them with a barrage of absolute negatives, reminding me I have no one and nothing will ever get better, nothing will ever work out. My rational side that usually fights to keep those feelings at bay is cast aside, nowhere to be found." from B.L. Acker with her battle with Depression.

B.L Ackers struggle she talks about is just one sickness, depression, and not the multiple form of mental illness such as the Schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders. Psychotic disorders cause detachment from reality — such as delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized thinking and speech. Most times a person does not suffer with just one type of mental illness, but struggle with more than one .

One of the signs that Dimitrios Pagourtzis was starting on a downward spiral.

“Why would you wear a trench coat when it’s 100 degrees outside? When he first started wearing that trench coat, it was during the winter.” But in the hotter months, Pagourtzis didn’t take it off. “It’s like 90 degrees outside and this guy is still wearing a trench coat,” Thurman said. “It should have been noted. That’s a red flag right there.”

Another sign that was missed was when Dimitrios Pagourtzis dressed like the Columbine shooters, and the students joked about it because they did not know that he was having trouble..

Dimitrios Pagourtzis Facebook page shows he was an atheist. Was this something that was posted many years ago, or was it new?

This was part of Dimitrios Pagourtzis changes in his life.

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