Sandy Hook Shooter Adam Lanza May Not Have Been Able to Feel Pain (VIDEO)

Health Check 14

adam lanza couldn't feel painMany questions still remain about the circumstances surrounding the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, and some of the most sought-after information surrounds the mental health of Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza. While no official diagnosis has been reported, there has been a lot of speculation about Lanza's condition(s) ... Particularly after Richard Novia -- who was the advisor to Newtown High School's technology club, an organization to which Lanza belonged -- said he had meetings with Lanza's mother, Nancy, and school administrators about ensuring Lanza's safety, considering his apparent inability to feel pain. He told AP reporter Adam Geller, "If that boy would've burned himself, he would not have known it or felt it physically."

But what does that mean exactly?

According to, Novia's statements seem to match up with a condition known as congenital insensitivity to pain (CIPA), a rare neuropathic disorder that makes people unable to register painful stimuli. People with the disorder have problems with self-inflicted injuries. For instance, children often have oral cavity damage both in and around their mouths, i.e. having bitten off the tip of their tongue, or fractures to bones. They may also not notice infections or more severe diseases other kids would respond more readily to. And they can struggle with emotional regulation.

As you might imagine, CIPA sufferers can have difficulty empathizing with those of us who have normal pain thresholds. But definitely not always -- just look at recently publicized CIPA patient, 12-year-old Ashlyn Blocker, who is said to be a "bright and friendly child." It also bears noting that, "About half of people with CIPA show signs of hyperactivity or emotional instability, and many affected individuals have intellectual disability," according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

However, there's another piece of the puzzle here: UCLA psychologist Elizabeth Laugeson explains that autism spectrum disorders can sometimes correspond with a reduced sensitivity to pain. This may serve to back up the recollections of Lanza's classmates and the Lanzas' marriage therapist Paula Levy who say they were told Adam Lanza had been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction, alongside restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests.

These details definitely offer a smidge more insight into what may have been going on behind the scenes with the disturbed young man who would take many innocent lives ... It's still unclear what Lanza's specific mental and physical health challenges were and where, perhaps, his support system fell short. But hopefully, with further investigation, we'll soon have more concrete answers, which could only serve to help us do better going forward.

Here's a video on more speculation and news on Adam Lanza's history and mental health ...


What are your thoughts on the shooter's potential diagnosis?


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Vegeta Vegeta

That he's still a d-bag that needs to stop being talked about so more people don't decide they'd like some spotlight too.

Bmat Bmat

I heard this on the news, too. I agree with Vegeta that he needs to not be placed in the role of someone to copy cat.

Tendr... TendrelovinMaMa

Im sick of people always trying to diagnois some condition when someone does something unspeakable! Sometime people are just evil. There is no excuse he was pure evil. As mother n sane human being I hope he is burning in hell for all eternity. He stole so much. R.I.P Angels of Newtown.

dusky... dusky_rose

I think that he wasn't in his right mind to kill 20 innocent people, especially young children.

eupeptic eupeptic

There was a study done several years ago which found that the genetic variations which are common among people with autism are also often linked to various other mental disorders. A short and relatively easy to understand summary can be found here and the full paper can be read at this link.

And the more effort that is put into understanding issues that affect people such as Adam Lanza the better treatments we will be able to create. The better we are able to diagnose and treat people with mental disorders the better a society we will be able to have. Ignoring problems doesn't make them go away, nor does it help alleviate the suffering that is endured by those who are affected by one or more mental disorders.

jmama... jmama0307

I'm sick of people always trying to diagnosis some condition when someone does something unspeakable! Sometime people are just evil. There is no excuse. If he was that mental in needed to be hospitalize. As a mom I'm pretty sure he had doctors and psychologists. Only cause someone does an evil crime doesn't mean they are mental just that they wanted to kill. I heard yesterday in the news that he went to the gun store and got 2 sets of bullets. How the hell you telling me he knew he was missing that. Nope I don't believe that is what brought him to this crime. 

tuffy... tuffymama

I know a child with CIPA. She is a maniac! She's frequently restless, unruly and prone to tantrums, but when she's happy, she is the sunniest child on earth. She's also dealing with some serious learning disabilities and social problems. I don't know how much of all this has to do with her mental and physical problems, and how much can be attributed to her shoddy upbringing with one schizophrenic, hateful parent and one who is chronically unemployed, lazy, drunk and selfish.

I REALLY wish people wouldn't play junior psychiatrist on someone they don't even know and sensationalize criminal acts, but if merely reporting all this causes some people to make some headway in psychiatric research or get help they need, then so be it.

Kayla... KaylaMillar

You HAVE to be mentally sick to kill young children like that! 

Kayla... KaylaMillar

You HAVE to be mentally sick to kill young children like that! 

timon95 timon95

it is tiring to hear the "well, they had a mental disorder" card pulled every time there is a shooting. there are many stories going on out there on how he was a genius, good boy, just a little shy, never would have known he had a proble. others saying he was troubled and the mom had issues with him. what i haven't seen or heard is his doctors coming forward talking about it. supposedly the mother was not one to sit back, if he needed help, she would have gotten it for him. so, if she were having issues with him, then why wasn't she getting him help? sadly, some people are just bored with their lives and feel as if they need to live out a video game and go shoot real people instead of video people.

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