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Mental illness and Violence: An opinion

Mental illness increases the likelyhood of violence but is it as significant as our society believes? That is the question that I try to answer in this article.

Every time a violent act happens, there is concern about whether the perpetrator was mentally ill.  Now, Obama is recommending more mental health screenings in our schools to try to prevent violence.  

While I am in support of more mental health screenings in order to help those who need treatment receive it, I am uncomfortable with the thinking that this seems to show in our society.  I had planned to prove that we, the mentally ill, are not more likely to commit a violent act.  I found a statement by the director of National Institues of Mental Health that said that people with servere mental illness are more likely to commit a violent act.  Here is the quote.

Is violence more common in people with SMI? Yes, during an episode of psychosis, especially associated with paranoia and so-called "comman hallucinations", the risk of violence is increased.  People with SMI are up to three times more likely to be violent and when associated with substance abuse disorders, the risk may increase much further.  But, mental illness contributes very little to the overall rate of violence in the community.  Most people with SMI are not violent, and most violent acts are not committed by people with SMI.

Since I struggle with depression and have been on anti-depressants for over five years, I cried after reading this quote. I have seen people behave as if they are walking on egg shells because of their concern that they will make me cry.  I have seen fear in one person's eyes.  

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Steve ® January 30, 2013 at 04:00 AM
Listening to Obama will give you mental illness.
Steve ® January 30, 2013 at 04:01 AM
Voting for Obama is proof of mental illness.
Bottom Line January 30, 2013 at 05:57 AM
I can't believe any posted here knowing the professor would arrive to tell you that nothing you have to offer is relevant ... he knows all, he has done all, and the rest of you are ignorant.
Born Free February 04, 2013 at 11:33 PM
Illegal drugs! As if alcohol isn't bad enough as a factor in violence the illigal drug issue and violence is at plague level around the world. Anyone that would contest that probably feels like their ox is getting gored. War history even has documented accounts of combatant's fighting in wave's as if they were on potions/drugs, wild crazy and almost unstoppable. Even alcohol can make you feel invincible and well capable of driving at 120 buzzed enough. People kill for drugs and pot too which probably accounts for 99% of the homocides in America, Mexico and South America. Growing up we used to sarcastically with a shrug chalk stupidity of criminals and also for a few lessor non sensical human errors to a person being on "Drugs". Our rationale was geared to wondering just how mindless/delusional was that person? We were probably at the time, way before gang bangers were vogue, more correct about the drug thing then we knew we were! Anger mangement issue's? In the liberal mind anger management is the knee jerk first "cure" solution when they hear racial slurs but, BUT, the solution to a shooting is gun grabbing gun control based on mental illness as the cause. Go figure! Given the fact that every liberal I've run across or read of they all support legalizing pot and to some extent a few other illegal substances which boils down to a ultimatum to society of "legalize it or we'll do something violent". And violence they certainly do, to be deamed mentally ill.

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