Violence and Schizophrenia

Violence and Schizophrenia - Violence and Schizophrenia 1...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Violence and Schizophrenia 1 Karen Stasevich Psych 111 Sec 031 April 9, 2007 Violence and Schizophrenia Mental illness has long been feared and misunderstood. Lack of factual knowledge and the general portrayal of the mentally ill have led to fear, mistreatment and substandard lifestyles for many severely mentally ill patients. In particular, schizophrenics are often feared because of portrayal in the media and common knowledge of the symptoms of this disease, which include severe hallucinations, paranoia, and sometimes violence in this rare disorder. Although violence may be a consequence of schizophrenia, it is unclear and disputed whether it is the disease itself that causes these outbursts or various intervening variables. I chose three studies that specifically addressed the issue of violence and schizophrenia because this disorder in particular is singled out as “violent” in high rates among those afflicted by it. In considering these three articles on violence and schizophrenia, which analyze data showing that violence is more causally related to underlying variables than schizophrenia, greater understanding of those affected by schizophrenia and how to help them can be achieved. The article by Friedman (2006) is based on a study of rates of violence among mentally ill patients and also those involved with and convicted of violent crimes. It notes that many studies are wrought with biases because those who are incarcerated are naturally more likely to be mentally ill and violent, which is not representative of the overall population of the mentally ill. Drugs and alcohol are much more likely to cause violent behavior, and when used by a mentally ill person, this effect is greatly increased.
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Violence and Schizophrenia 2 This study focused on adults affected by psychotic or mood disorders, particularly schizophrenia. Although 5% of those convicted of homicide are schizophrenic, this study claims that number is far too high because the actual rate of schizophrenia is much lower, making this a misrepresentation of the link between homicide and schizophrenia. Friedman says that one of the problems of this misrepresentation is a false fear of the mentally ill, who the public perceive as violent. While it is true that severe schizophrenia increases the risk of violence, those without severe symptoms are no more likely to commit violent crimes than a mentally sound person. Treatment of acute symptoms drastically reduces the risk of violence, but is not mandated unless the person poses an immediate threat to others. It is important to try not to focus on the risk of violence a schizophrenic or mentally ill person may pose, especially for those who work with patients. This “false fear” could greatly interfere with a positive therapeutic relationship. This study seemed to focus more on a human-interest angle, rather than facts.
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 04/12/2008 for the course PSYCH 111 taught by Professor Schreier during the Winter '08 term at University of Michigan.

Page1 / 7

Violence and Schizophrenia - Violence and Schizophrenia 1...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online