tv Sanjay Gupta MD CNN July 28, 2012 1:30pm-2:00pm PDT
up next however dr. sanjay gupta md. hello. thanks for being with us. on tap today a story that really hit home for me. as a father of three girls. i'm going to tell you about one little girl who was bullied at school so badly she had plastic surgery to stop the bullies. we'll meet her. but first, it's been one week since a 24-year-old man went on a shooting rampage inside a colorado movie theater. a dozen people were killed and nearly 60 more injured in one of the worst mass shootings in u.s. history. the suspected shooter james holmes was until this june a graduate student at the university of colorado and a highly demanding neuro science program. a lot of people have been asking me, do you know what was happening inside his brain, in his mind? and also if a colleague or family member were ever going to possibly pose a danger, would you know it? what would you do about it?
clinical psychologist javier amador is the author of "i am not sick i don't need help." thanks for joining us. i do want to talk about what some of the warning signs might be. there is a lot of mystery surrounding james holmes still. you know, the university of colorado said very little. all we know is he left his neuro science program in june. he did badly on an oral exam but was not forced out of school. the school has told the students and faculty not to talk with reporters, which is understandable. but a lot of people have asked, could this have been predicted in any way? can this sort of thing have happened essentially in a very short time or even overnight? what do you think about that? >> very unlikely overnight. if this was a drug induced for example psychotic episode where somebody gets violent after using pcp, cocaine, sure.
we see that, but that is obviously not the case here. just from even a great distance where you and i sit that is clearly not the case. there is no drug use reported. but, you know, i think people are asking those questions because the story is starting to sound all too familiar. here is somebody who was functioning really well, sanjay. he was doing well in school. he was socially engaged. and then suddenly it's as if something snapped and something suddenly happened. in fact, it probably was an insidious and slow descent into psychosis if that's what's going on in this case. >> part of the reason i think i ask, i think people are interested, is because based on that, since it is a slower descent as you say, it seems like there are places where intervention could take place and warning signs may have been noticed. again, no one is casting blame here on anybody or anyone, but, i mean, are there specific warning signs that you tell people to be concerned about? >> yeah.
absolutely. but let me emphasize something that you're touching on that i think is so vitally important. the first treatment that people get when they develop schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, other serious chronic psychotic illnesses if that's what we're talking about here, typically it's seven years after the onset of the first symptoms. the duration of the first treatment according to the studies on this, seven years. so we've got a lot of time to identify the warning signs. the warning signs are things like we're hearing about in the case of mr. holmes. sudden change in functioning, withdrawal, becoming isolated, sometimes that can be confused for depression. the easiest way to find out is engage the person, talk to them. ask them about the change in their behavior. spending a lot of time alone. how are you feeling? feeling sad or blue? >> it's interesting because i think that particular issue has had a lot of people wondering this week -- many people with mental illness may not recognize they themselves have it and they also refuse offers of help. how do you -- how hard should an
average person push? say it's a family member for example. what is someone to do? >> well, i'll speak first personally as a family member i had a brother, my brother henry who had schizophrenia and his illness emerged very slowly. i was 21. he was 28. he had actually been ill since about the age of 24. i thought his problem was he was lazy. he was giving up on life. he was immature. in fact, he was exhibiting what are called the common negative symptoms of schizophrenia. for example, when i looked at mr. holmes at his arraignment, i saw a lot of what we would call flat affect. >> right. >> where he doesn't express much emotion. a lot of people were wondering about medication. my first thought was are we seeing the negative symptoms of schizophrenia? they recognize the way they sound and they know that other people just won't understand that they have a special role in the world. they have special powers. they're batman's nemesis. i have no idea if that's what went through mr. holmes' mind in this case. that is the kind of thing that's really common.
>> they have the self-awareness to recognize you're suggesting how they might sound. >> right. >> is there a pitfall? people are scared to talk to folks who they think potentially might be dangerous or maybe they just don't take the time. is there a pitfall to avoid when talking to someone that you're concerned about? >> yes. don't give your opinion. and that's the biggest mistake people make is we give our opinion. when somebody says things like i don't really want to talk about this but i think the cia has got us under surveillance, you know, my eyes and other people's eyes get wide at least with what i used to do and we try to reassure the person. instead, pardon the expression, but i learned frankly to shut up and listen. you don't have to agree with the person. you shouldn't lie and agree with the peon. just don't jump to looking incredulous or doubtful or judging what they're telling you. and what you'll find is they'll open up. and it's really vitally important that people who are
experiencing these psychotic symptoms have someone they can open up to. otherwise, they're alone with their delusions. if they're hearing voices they're alone with their hallucinations. and whatever those hallucinations and delusions are telling them reality is and what they should do. >> people don't think about it as concretely i think as you've just put it so i think it's a very important message to hear. i hope to have you back. these are tough topics but i think important to a lot of families hopefully listening today. xavier amador thanks so much. >> thank you. coming up, this girl who says plastic surgery was the only way to stop the bullies at school. we visited with her in the operating room. you can see and judge for yourself. that's true. ...but you still have to go to the gym. ♪ the one and only, cheerios
i've got a nice long life ahead. big plans. so when i found out medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses, i got a medicare supplement insurance plan. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare, you may know it only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. call and find out about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement plans, it could save you thousands in out-of-pocket costs. call now to request your free decision guide. i've been with my doctor for 12 years.
now i know i'll be able to stick with him. you'll be able to visit any doctor or hospital that accepts medicare patients. plus, there are no networks, and you never need a referral. see why millions of people have already enrolled in the only medicare supplement insurance plans endorsed by aarp. don't wait. call now.
you may not know this but one of five children is bullied in school and most of the time it's verbal abuse, relentless name calling. it can leave emotional and mental scars on kids. some families are resorting to extreme measures to make that bullying stop. it's a parent's nightmare. >> i used to be very talkative when i was a little kid and now i'm just shy and i'd rather not talk to anyone. i'm antisocial now. >> reporter: children viciously bullied for their physical appearance. for 14-year-old nadia the bullying started in first grade. >> there was this girl. she came up to me and says, you have the biggest ears i've ever seen. i'm like, well -- i was speechless because i didn't think about it until she said that. >> reporter: she's heard dumbbo, elephant ears, and much, much worse. seven years of torment, so
withdrawn, still so hard to talk about. what is the -- do you remember the worst sort of taunting or teasing or whatever? do you rear day where that happened? >> it happened a lot, well, it happened so many times that it kind of all blends together that i kind of don't remember. >> reporter: nadia was just 10 years old when she asked her mom if she could have surgery to pin her ears back also known as nodoplasty. she wanted them to stick out less all in an effort to stop the bullying. it's been sort of a dark place for sometime it sounds like. >> yeah. it's been very depressing. >> reporter: her mom, desperate to help, turned to the internet and stumbled across the little baby face foundation. the nonprofit organization offers free plastic surgery for children like nadia who are bullied because of their physical appearance and can't afford an operation. >> there may be people, nadia, who say, look. you don't need to do this.
this is just who you are. it's the way you were born. people should love people for who th are. what do you say to those folks? >> i say that they're right. but it'll never stop. it'll just keep going. get worse and worse. >> the foundation flew nadia and her mother from georgia to new york city for an all expense paid trip to this hospital. >> this will be our target ear. then i'll match it up, match the other ear which is not as lateralized as this ear. >> in her application nadia asked to have her ears pinned back. but dr. thomas romo with the little baby face foundation recommended she change more than just her ears. >> i love thin chins, but i don't want them as pointy as that chin. we talked about that didn't we? we looked at some pictures of some different people? >> mm-hmm. >> yeah. and their chins come off just a little more square so that's exactly what we're going to do, too. >> and there was more.
>> when i looked up inside her -- the whole septum is actually going off this way. as the septum goes show goes the nose. >> she never talked about the nose or the chin before, right? >> she did not because she didn't recognize that. >> dr. romo says with her ears pinned back her nose and chin would be more pronounced. he said all three surgeries combined are necessary to balance out nadia's features. >> so any last thoughts aswe go into the o.r. here? >> nervous. excited. >> in some ways this has been seven years in the making for nadia. she just went under but she tells me she has been dreaming about this day for sometime. and now it's all happening for her. what dr. romo is doing is a reduction rhino plasty reducing the size of the nose and a procedure here on the chin. what might surprise a lot of people is about 42% of surgeries
on the ears are done in people under the age of 18. this four-hour operation would normally come with a price tag of about $40,000. for nadia, it's free. here in the operating room when you see what is happening bemind me it gives you a good idea of how significant bullying can be. kids become depressed. they can become anxious. and nadia's case she told me it changed her entire personality. but surgery alone won't wipe away the pain from years of all that bullying. nadia's mom hopes counseling will be the final step in the healing process. 72 hours post op, nadia is still swollen but cautiously optimistic as dr. romo removes the bandages and she sees her new self for the first time. >> i look beautiful. exactly what i wanted. i love it.
>> i get goose bumps a little bit. nadia joins us now in studio. it is so good to see you. you look beautiful and you look happy. how are you feeling? >> i feel a lot better emotionally and physically because i can now breathe better and i feel better about myself. i want to put up a picture of you before and after the operation. >> i see my ears and my nose and my children. >> you focus in on your ears in the before. >> yes. and on the after i don't see so much problem with the ears and i can actually see how beautiful my eyes are. >> you do have beautiful eyes. you're beautiful. and you were beautiful before as
well and this is something that we talked about. are you glad that you had the operation? do you have any regrets whatsoever? >> no regrets. i'm glad i got it done. >> your mom said and you ek owed this as well that obviously the surgery is one part of this. i mean, that doesn't alone erase the years of bullying that you endured. you're going to go through counseling as well. have you started that? >> not yet but i'm looking forward to starting. >> you're going to see a loft the same kids, right, that you've been going to school with for sometime. you'll see them when you start school in the fall. what is that going to be like? >> nervous at first but i think i can pull it through and that they'll realize that what they have done and they'll stop. >> you know, there are a lot of parents probably watching who, you know, may worry about their own kids like i worry about mine and your mom worried about you. what would you say to parents out there after all that you've been through now? >> just give your children a lot of love and affection and tell them that they're beautiful every single day. >> and that's really good advice. i think a lot of parents -- i
try and tell my daughters that every single night. it's funny you mention that particular thing. good to see you. you look great. you look happy. i'm so delighted for you. >> thank you. >> thank you for joining us. still ahead, they're calling her the female michael phelps. the next big thing. missy franklin is up for seven gold medals in london. stay with us.
first heard the news on cnn. >> i texted my mom right away and she was up even though it was like 3:00 a.m. there and i told her and she immediately got on the news and was sending me constant updates but it was absolutely horrible. it was just so senseless. you have to wonder why these things happen in the world. >> it's a lot to process for anybody especially a 17-year-old but franklin who is going to be racing for gold in seven events, seven events, is no typical teenager. >> swim all the way to the wall and i'll come in. >> she loves swimming on her back. >> missy franklin at 2 years old. and at 5, winning her first free style race. >> she's winning. her first race. >> i want to go to the olympics. >> go missy! >> missy franklin almost a body
length ahead. >> now at age 17 she is the second youngest person on the u.s. olympic team. her back stroke and free style are what got her there. >> i've made the team, which is the most exciting thing i could ever imagine. i'm going to be an olympian for the rest of my life. >> reporter: at 6'1", she towers over most of her competition. her physique is ideal for swimming fast. she has a wing span 6'4" across. shoulders 1 1/2 feet wide, size 13 feet and flexible ankles that power her forward through the water. franklin may be on the verge of worldwide fame. but up till now her family and her coach have taken pains to try and let her be a normal kid. sometimes that means taking her shopping during a break in a meet. >> there's not a lot of coaches that would go hey yeah let's take you prom dress shopping but then giving her a night off for prom.
>> she's confident beyond her years. >> i love music. i love dancing. >> here is missy franklin. >> don't mistake fun for lack of focus. in the pool franklin was all about doing what it takes to hit that wall first. >> i want to have an absolute blast while i'm there. i know i will. if i give 110% and leave everything i have in that pool then i'm going to be proud of myself. >> the female michael phelps they're saying. we will see but i'm so excited to watch missy franklin. good luck out there. up next, another olympic swimmer. our friend eric chanteau who has made a comeback from cancer. [ male announcer ] when this hotel added aflac
honey nut cheerios ok then off to iceland! life is full of unexpected challenges but the story of one u.s. olympic swimmer reminded me even if the odds are against you, you still have a chance to build yourself back up. >> this time four years ago was stressful to say the least. that's putting it lightly. >> eric shanteau's journey to become a world class swimmer has been anything but conventional. >> right after i started swimming it was, i want to make an olympic team. that's where i want to be. >> four years ago he made the 2008 olyic team but just a week before he was set to race
in beijing an unimaginable twist of fate. eric was diagnosed with te testicular cancer. >> the initial reaction was probably anger. it was a week before the biggest meet of my life. >> reporter: his doctors cleared him to compete and his cancer operation was postponed until after his race. >> how you feeling? >> pretty good. >> drugs starting to kick in? >> a little bit. >> i was there the day of his operation at emory university hospital back in 2008. so eric is prepped for surgery, ready to go. he has been waiting all day. it's about 7:10 p.m. two months he's been waiting for this operation, arguably the most challenging competition of his career. more difficult than any olympic competition. he is finally going to get this tumor removed. after his surgery, eric told me he really didn't think he'd get another shot at olympic gold. but eric, well, eric was wrong. he made the 2012 u.s. olympic
swim team. he will race in the men's 100 meter breast stroke. his cancer? gone. >> this time around i'm definitely walking around the deck a little bit lighter. i don't have that cancer cloud hanging over my head and i don't have the weight of that on my shoulders. >> you know, i decided to stick with the olympic theme for chasing life today. i'm in my early 40s and believe it or not i just really learned how to swim three years ago. i actually taught myself by watching these how to videos on the internet. my point is anyone can learn at any age. and swimming offers something that no other workout does. when you're in the water you're automatically lighter. for example in water that's waist high your body bears just 50% of its own weight. that means you can exercise without the harsh impact on your joints and bones. but the best thing about swimming is that it's a low stress workout that burns a lot of calories in a short amount of time. as a general ruleu'