I have had the opportunity to work with people with Mental Illness in mental health institutions, and on the streets professionally. From the sidewalks, to homes, to In-Patient care facilities I have encountered and dealt with hundreds of people with mental illnesses and many of them in crisis.
What I have discovered is that human behavior, physical body language appears to run standard across the board. Whether it be a “normal” individual, a diagnosed person, or someone in crisis they all seem to demonstrate the same physical behavior traits, or body language consistant with what we know about reading/interpreting body language.
This I have found especially true with aggressive/violent behavior. Agitation, pre-assault indicators, anger, apear to remain the same no matter the persons mental state at that time.
Confusion, alertness, and other body language may not always be consistent with what we know to be standard. However, I am continuing my study on all of this as well.
What this means is that no matter who the individual is, their behavior will telegraph their intention to lash out physically. This is something that I have not seen a lot of research on, therefore I started my own. What my research shows thus far is that we can consistently recognize, address and prepare for a physical encounter/assault without having to “diagnose” a person in the moment to interpret their intentions. They all portray the same physical traits, and therefore you can recognise and protect yourself from a physical assault.
A few years ago the Lead Instructor at Fort Campbell Army Combatives program (MACP) called me and asked me to prepare a short training video to teach how to recognize the physical behavior of a person intending to physically attack another. This video is below.
I found one good article from Police One describing physical assault indicators as well. It is at this link HERE. It is a good read, and will also help you “read” people prior to an attack.
I have included in my study undiagnosed “normal” people, schizophrenia, Bi-Polar, Intoxicated, Narcotic influenced “high/stoned”, Psychopathy, PTSD, Dementia, and other clinically diagnosed persons. I will continue my face to face, hands on research, however at this point these are my findings.
No matter what mental state the individual is in, they will foretell their intentions of a physical assault.
My research has found no deviation due to race or ethnic/cultural background either.