To my dismay, I feel like I have written some version of this blog too many times. I fear if won’t be the last time.
Whenever there is a mass shooting, we try to understand what happened in order to prevent this again. In terms of the mental health, this may be helpful:
A compilation of signs to look for in order to prevent include:
1) The gunman is usually on some search for significance and recognition. He may fantasize being the star of his movie, going down with guns a blazing and ending in suicide.
2) Usually these are intelligent, high-performing males who are viewed by others as weaker or a loser in some way.
3) Rejection seems to play a factor and that rejection is fixed upon and takes on a great importance because of the symptoms of mental illness also present.
4) Rather than being loners, these males appear more like failed joiners.
5) Daily living is filled with friction and being unsettled.
6) Signs of mental illness can include sleep changes, mood and appetite changes with mood swings and explosive behavior.
7) Young adulthood is also the time of the onset of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and other mental disorders as the person is on his own, trying to negotiate life with poor coping skills.
Why don’t we prevent more of these attacks?
1) People deal with these men a few hours of the day and often don’t see the pattern of their lives.
2) Infractions may not be documented so they don’t register as questionable.
3) Even though these males often telegraph their intentions, peers don’t report for fear of getting them in trouble or it doesn’t register as being a real threat. It isn’t until later that the signs make sense.
Prevention tips from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office:
1) Report suspicious behavior. The shooter told someone in most of the cases.
2) Notice if violence is used as a way to solve problems
3) Notice if the person changes into an angry person.
Tomorrow’s Blog: 5 Stages of a Shooting Identified by Law Enforcement and How to Respond