What Causes Someone To Snap?

Larry Richert and John Shumway
May 23, 2018 - 5:22 pm
Mental Health

PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020) - What makes a regular individual act out and snap?

This week 18-year-old volunteer firefighter Patrick Gillis was charged with causing a fire at a duplex in Brackenridge. 

Allegheny Health Network psychiatrist Dr. Patton Nickell explained to the KDKA Radio Morning News why a firefighter would be driven to start a fire himself?

 “I think people get into positions like that to facilitate achieving goals or satisfying some urges, which may not be legal. I think people usually cover up their true motivation until they are in a situation where they can do the things that they really deep down want to do. Sometimes they get caught,” Dr. Nickell said.

It is hard to come up with an explanation for this type of act.

Could depression and loneliness be possible triggers?

Dr. Nickell explained, “I think folks who are struggling with darker sides might treat themselves differently online. Now whether that makes them deny who they are it may make them feel worse.”

There is no clear answer as to why they do the things they do.  That is the most challenging problem.

The only thing a person can do to prevent a tragedy from happening is to pay attention to the people around you and report any behavior that is suspicious.

“If you see something say something,” Dr. Nickell told listeners of the KDKA Radio Morning Show.

According to Dr. Nickell, when an unfortunate event happens most people say “Oh yeah I saw that but didn’t do anything about it.”

There are usually behavioral signs that tell someone an individual is disturbed.

Therefore connecting the dots is the best way to catch someone before they commit a crime. It is one of the only things a person can do.

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