"There Is an Active Shooter"! the Psychology of Mass Murder
What a lighthearted and lovely list, lol!! I Just returned from a conference on psychosis and aggressive behavior and I thought people would be interested. This is what we know:
- •I do dangerousness assessments for a local school district so this subject is of immense importance to me and other mental health professionals (and really to all of us now)Once I evaluated an adolescent who was making serious threats against his school. I found that his father had stored the household guns under this kid's bed. Set up much???
- •The stereotypical profile that we all know seems to be pretty accurate. A male loner who seems quiet and withdrawn to friends and family seems to lose control out of the blue. That last statement it's actually a mythWe now know that there's no sudden impulse, no sudden loss of control but rather a long slow building of angry and revenge filled fantasy. The perpetrator is narcissistic, angry, and entitled behind the screen of quiet non-involvement
- •These guys clearly have multiple mental health problems. They seem to have mixed personality disorders, such as narcissistic, schizoid, and antisocial traits.Several of the shooters have been described as "Aspergers." It is likely that they have a significantly more disturbed diagnosis than that. They may have been diagnosed with Aspergers because they do not show much empathy and tend to be withdrawn. More likely diagnosis is schizoid personality disorder with psychotic features, usually if the delusional type
- •These perpetrators seem excessively prone to envy and the desire for revenge against others who they perceive as having what they do not.they are paranoid narcissists who take no responsibility but project their failures on to othersBoth the shooter in Santa Barbara and the most recent shooter in Oregon were enraged that they couldn't get girlfriends and felt continually rejected. They were determined to wreak revenge on those who had what they could not get
- •There is often a history in childhood of behaviors associated with antisocial personality disorder:. Abuse against animals, bedwetting, fire setting, and lying.
- •They are fascinated with violence, guns, violent video games, infatuated with Nazis, and have grandiose fantasies about war and weaponry and being Warriors. They are described as trying to develop a "Warrior Mentality"This is clearly compensatory. These guys feel weak and ineffectual. They feel bullied and ripped off. But they feel entitled by their rage and envy to destroy others, and the externalize and projector weakness onto their targets and try and destroy it that way
- •A number of these perpetrators are delusional, some of them experiencing hallucinations both, auditory and visual and have incredibly poor grasp of realityThey can be quite paranoid, distorting reality and using those distortions to fuel their rage and envy and desire for revenge. James Holmes, the Aurora movie shooter had a "dysphoric mania" and was agitated and paranoid.
- •Although these perpetrators are loners, several of them had a toxic merger relationship based on guns, bombs and weapons.Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, the Columbine shooters, Adam Lanza (sandyhook) and his mother, Christopher Harper-mercer the Umpqua Community College Shooter and his mother. All these individuals have this toxic symbiotic relationship with violence and often hate the person they are merged with.
- •99.9% of mentally ill, even psychotic folks will never in a million years become mass murderers. This is hugely important, as the recent events are starting to impact how people treat the mentally ill.The current spate of school shootings, and the medias need to psychologically profile the shooters has led to a general anxiety about those who suffer from mental illness
- •Of course it's really all about the guns. People with severe mental disturbances should not have access to guns, and if people are buying body armor, the feds should be alerted and should intervene. There is no reason a nonmilitary individual should have body armor.
- •And of course the media's role in these shootings is not to be underestimated. In other countries they never mention the name of the perpetrator. These guys are looking to go out in a blaze of glory, where everyone knows their name.
- •And here's the point of this list. If you see something or hear something say something!!!!! Mass murderers have been stopped before because somebody made a reportThe shoe bomber, Richard Reid, was caught because his seatmate on the airplane alerted the stewardess that he was trying to light his shoe on fire. If those guys on 4Chan had reported the threats made by the Umpqua murderer, that horrific incident would've been prevented.
- •On to happier topics next time! Love, DocP