For the Anger, Rage and Emotional Volatility of Bipolar Disorder, Type II Patients & Their Families

Are There Lessons to be Learned About Workplace Violence From the Connecticut Shootings?

By Mary Nelson-Haffner

The shock and trauma from the fatal shootings at a Manchester, Connecticut beverage distributor over the summer, spiraled the local community and nation into sadness, confusion and despair. The incident marks one of the worst cases of workplace violence in Connecticut’s state history. As the details of the story unfolded across the national news media, many people in communities coast to coast, including employees, managers, and business owners are focusing attention on education and training for identifying employees, or associates at risk for aggression and violence.

While some are left to wonder if the problems stemming from the economic recession are igniting more incidents of rage and violence, many experts in the mental health community would say that some of the year’s violent offenders may of had underlying psychological issues that were either misdiagnosed or undetected. Dr. Michael J. Woulas, Ph.D., a Southwest Florida psychotherapist treating patients for over thirty years, believes that much of today’s unexplained violent incidents could stem from the little known disorder of Bipolar Disorder, Type II. Because there are many differences from the better-known Bipolar Disorder, Type I, many managers and human resource professionals are not as familiar with the symptoms that are the hallmarks of this mental health problem.

“The missed diagnosed problem of the century, Bipolar Disorder Type II, may have existed as an underlying problem for the disgruntled employee, and without detection could have been responsible for the current shootings in Connecticut. Anger, rage and violence are core symptoms of Bipolar Disorder Type II. The shooter’s shocking behavior clearly reflects rage and violence directed at his co-workers, which is a common occurrence in untreated bipolar depression,” exclaimed Woulas.

According to Woulas, “most individuals with this serious but treatable mood disorder are passing through under the radar, due to lack of public and professional awareness. Moodiness, emotional volatility, rage and violence are too often and wrongfully associated with personality disorders, drug abuse or milder forms of psychoses. These symptoms are characteristic of a mood disorder, which needs to be brought into public awareness in order to prevent further catastrophic events from occurring.”

Woulas has become an advocate, author, and educator to bring more awareness about Bipolar Disorder, Type II. With better information and education, he believes we can curb workplace, domestic and social violence through greater public and professional awareness of Bipolar Disorder, Type II, or “the silent epidemic.” Visit for more detailed information on the symptoms and treatment options regarding this disorder. Woulas has also authored a book on Bipolar Disorder, Type II called “The Ticking Time Bomb”. Information on how to order the book is available as a link on the website.

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