How does mental health impact those that become active shooters and cause violence?

Let’s talk about mental health. The phenomenon of traditional mental health is very common.  Approximately, 40 million people experience anxiety and depression affects 1 in 5 adults in the United States. There are many other mental health concerns as well, such as OCD, addictions, and trauma. These mental health problems do not cause violence specifically. Those with mental health concerns do not need to feel ashamed as they are not alone. 

A person who commits an act of violence such as mass shootings, bombings or arson may not necessarily have a severe mental health condition such as schizophrenia.  However, a person who commits violence, may have several issues and factors which are impacting their mental health. As professionals we evaluate a person’s mental health condition by examining their family and childhood backgrounds, legal history, relationship history, education, medical and trauma history. These are just some of the factors that are explored.  The active shooter may blame others for their life, they may feel angry, resentful, lonely, sad, withdrawn, feel unconnected with society and or feel hopeless and pessimistic and unloved or unrecognized. 

In addition, we must remember that a person committing that high level of violence is living in a world with it’s own context politically, economically and socially. All of these variables can contribute to the condition of the individual or group of people who react to the world in a dangerous way. 

The key point here is that having a mental health problem is not a cause for alarm, nor is it a reason to believe that all mental health problems lead to behavioral violence.   

Remember, acknowledging a mental health problem is positive as it can lead to help and relief…  

Thank you for stopping by to read our blog.  

Karen Gallagher, LMSW 

Wellness Matters Wellness First