KUCHING: A person can become violent and run amok because of internal and external reasons, said psychiatrist Dr Bernard Ting.
“The internal reason could be a form of self-defense when facing a real threat, personality issues such as easily irritable or impulsive personality, coping poorly with anger or mental health problems.
“For external reasons, it could be due to insult by others, long-standing bullying, influence of substance or many others,” explained the medical lecturer at the Department of Psychological Medicine, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas).
He was commenting on the shooting incident involving the deaths of four Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) personnel at Kota Samarahan camp on Friday (Aug 13).
He noted that most patients who were at risk for manifesting violent behaviour could be identified with some tell-tale signs.
“People who are in impending violence may raise their voice, speak vulgar languages, clench their fists, increasing provocative gestures or holding weapons.
“In the event of sensing the violence, trust your instinct and do not directly challenge the person,” he stressed.
He reminded those who are facing violent people to maintain a safe distance between them.
“Try verbal de-escalation. If you feel it is impossible to do that, try to look for a way to leave and get immediate help from a passer-by or any security personnel if available,” he added.
From a psychiatrist point of view, Dr Ting stated that for patients who may exhibit violent behaviour, the first thing to do is to identify the underlying cause of the violence and treat it accordingly.
“Sometimes physical restraint or chemical restraint such as giving tranquiliser may be deemed necessary to keep the person and others safe if all safety measures fail,” he advised.