Local Counselor Explains Mental Illness Warning Signs - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

After Newtown Rampage, Local Counselor Explains Mental Illness Warning Signs

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By Adam Ghassemi

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With every detail that's uncovered about what led Adam Lanza to carry out a deadly elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut last week, many people wonder what needs to happen to keep anything like it from repeating.

Centerstone counselor and trauma specialist Susan Gillpatrick said we may never fully understand what was going in Lanza's head, but there are warning signs including:

  • Someone who has ongoing angry outbursts
  • Someone who feels like people are out to get them
  • Someone that has a violent past, including abusing animals
  • Someone obsessed with violence in the media and video games

All reasons, she said, means you should get help before that person snaps to get attention or revenge.

"Those signs and symptoms are to take note of and not say well boys are being boys, or that's a kid is a kid," she said Monday urging people to report people showing warning signs.

Gillpatrick said the key is being involved and not ignoring it, which could not only prevent rampages in the future, but allow people to live healthy lives.

"There are more mental illnesses that are more treatable with proper care than the number of physical illnesses. So that alone tells you that if treatment is available and there's access to that treatment people can live normal, healthy lives," she said.

If you're worried about someone you know who you feel could be dangerous you can reach out to schools, doctors or even a mental health centers as resources.

Gillpatrick also said gun owners who legally have weapons also have an extra responsibility to take safeguards so family or friends suffering from mental illness don't have access to them.

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