The Connection between Violence and the Mentally Ill
A look at whether the mentally ill are more violent than the non mentally ill and why this a common misconception in our society.?
“Over the past decades a number of prominent individuals have been attacked or killed by people with a psychosis or other mental disorders, including ex-Beatle John Lennon and former U.S. President, Ronald Reagan. Although these cases may be spectacular, violence and aggression displayed by the mentally ill is usually directed against partners or family members, rather than others (Danielson et al, 1998). There is little evidence of an increasing number of violent acts made by patients with psychosis, but literature suggests that patients with major mental disorders have an increased risk for committing such acts compared with the general population (Munro, 2000). ). Fed by highly selected information in the mass media about their very rare contribution to one type of tragedy, homicide, the public and politicians believe, or are being encouraged to believe through the mass media, that unless people with a mental disorder are once more segregated, the streets will not be safe.”