MENTAL HEALTH – DEFENSES FOR KOHBERGER?
“The ringing in my ears and the fuzz in my vision is simply all of the demons in my head mocking me ” – statement attributed to the Idaho multicide suspect, Bryan Kohberger.
Allegedly visual snow plus tinnitus (ringing in the ears from an unknown source) bothered Kohberger enough that he once said he didn’t want to live anymore. Allegedly, he also had drug use issues, especially with heroin, and was bullied for being overweight. There are even more mental health issues, including possibly psychopathy, here and here. Plus, dialogue including him, his father, and a highway patrol officer here.
These are a few of the many things revealed recently about the suspect in the brutal stabbings of 4 students in November, 2022.
Is it possible that one or a combination of these issues may be used in his defense in court?
Visual snow was first described in 1995 and is estimated to affect up to 2% of the population. People have described it as akin to seeing static on old black-and-white TVs of yesteryear.
Experts aren’t sure about the cause of the disorder, but a 2022 review suggested visual-processing centers in the brain play a role. Other studies suggested people with a brain injury were more likely to develop visual-snow syndrome.
Also, studies suggest depression, anxiety, and poor sleep are common side effects of visual snow syndrome.
A 2020 survey of 1,100 people found that the average age of people experiencing visual-snow syndrome was 29, and nearly 40% of those surveyed said they’d had symptoms “for as long as they could remember.”
The condition doesn’t seem to get worse over time. Still, there is no cure for visual-snow syndrome.
One study indicated a medication used to treat seizures and bipolar disorder worked for some patients with visual snow.
Wearing orange-tinted glasses may also provide some relief.
Apparently, Kohberger used dieting to lose a good deal of weight at one point in his life. He may’ve turned to a certain diet also to control visual snow.
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