Thursday, April 25, 2019

V - Violence & Mental Health #AtoZ #MentalHealthAwareness

 Research has shown that people receiving effective treatment for a mental illness are no more violent or dangerous than the rest of the population. People with a mental illness are more likely to harm themselves – or to be harmed – than they are to hurt other people.

Public opinion surveys suggest that many people think mental illness and violence go hand in hand. In fact, research suggests that this public perception does not reflect reality. Most individuals with psychiatric disorders are not violent. Although a subset of people with psychiatric disorders commit assaults and violent crimes, findings have been inconsistent about how much mental illness contributes to this behavior and how much substance abuse and other factors do.

 Violence is not a symptom of psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia. There is a slightly increased possibility that someone with a psychotic illness may be violent if they:
  • ·         are not receiving effective treatment
  • ·         have a previous history of violence
  • ·         misuse alcohol or drugs.

Symptoms of psychotic illnesses may include frightening hallucinations and delusions, as well as paranoia. This means there is a small chance someone who is experiencing these symptoms may become violent when they are frightened and misinterpret what is happening around them.

However, it is true that a minority of people with schizophrenia can become aggressive when unwell. One reason for such a response could be a fear of symptoms, such as hallucinations. These people normally express their aggression towards themselves, or to family and friends – rarely to strangers.

Research suggests that violence by people with mental illness — like aggression in the general population — stems from multiple overlapping factors interacting in complex ways. These include family history, personal stressors (such as divorce or bereavement), and socioeconomic factors (such as poverty and homelessness). Substance abuse is often tightly woven into this fabric, making it hard to tease apart the influence of other less obvious factors.

Mental health workers, people with a mental illness and their families all agree that the most important step in preventing violence is to make sure people receive effective treatment as early as possible.
Mental health workers need to know who is most at risk of being violent or of being a victim of violence and make sure they receive the most effective treatment – as quickly as possible and for as long as they need it. This is especially important in a person’s first episode of illness.
It is important for everyone in the community to understand that mental illness is not a choice. It can happen to anybody. It is equally important to understand that violence is always unacceptable, and must be addressed in certain cases as a public health issue.

DISCLAIMER: All the information being provided her has been sourced from the internet and books and some also via personal experiences. It has no medical authentication per se so suggestions if followed must be done in consultation with a trained mental health professional.


This post is a part of April Blogging from A To Z Challenge
You can find all my posts here.


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