Undercover Violence: When Those You Wouldn't Suspect Commit Crimes

According to CNN Health, there are many things to be aware of in order to determine if someone poses a threat, or is showing violent tendencies. Dr. Charles Raison is an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Arizona in Tucson and he discusses how many times when there are mass murders, such as the Colorado massacre, there is no way to know that it was on the horizon. Many mass murderers show no signs of psychosis until their actual event and breaking point. Raison notes that often crimes are committed for one of two things: money or power. Though there are circumstances in which neither has to do with the crime, but rather it is a fit of rage that tends to be triggered by an event in that person’s life.

Crimes when falling under these three categories then become predictable because the majority of criminals already have a record of crime in some form, it just tends to progress over time. In many cases, the crimes involve people that are acquainted in some form, such as a friend or family member or a person from work, etc. When addressing the issue of “mass murders” such as in the Colorado shooting, Dr. Raison has noticed two similarities: that murderer is usually male, and has some signs of psychosis. He defines the definition “psychotic” as a medical term rather than a loose definition today’s society gives it. It is defined as one who has literally lost touch with reality, and usually suffers with hallucinations or delusions. From years of research and studies he concludes that criminals aren’t always psychotic though the chance of violence can be greater as a result of their illness. Dr. Raison shares his goal for helping those who suffer in hopes that if signs of violence or delusions are noticed sooner, then perhaps incidents like the Colorado shooting may be prevented in the future.

Here are some things to consider when observing the tendencies of those you love. Raison notes that those developing psychosis tend to be slower and subtle, and it won’t be just one day they start to talk to themselves. It tends to start with them wanting to isolate themselves and withdraw from the people they love. The things that they participated in tend to get abandoned, such as school or a hobby. The most obvious change being that their appearance tends to match their isolations, often seem more strange looking and not like themselves. Dr. Raison wants to emphasize that just because someone is suffering from these tendencies it doesn’t mean they will become a mass murderer tomorrow, he just wants to emphasize the importance of making sure to seek help in the earlier phases, it just may save their life and possibly someone else’s.

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