It has been found that stress sometimes leads to violent crimes among the mentally ill population.
A study, published online in JAMA Psychiatry, shows that certain trigger events such as exposure to brutal violence could later on lead to the acting out of violent crimes among the vulnerable.
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This see-and-do sequence seemed to occur in less than a week’s time span, according to the experts. Especially that particular part of the general population that was prone to bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, was more susceptible to this trend.
Also those people who formed the dark figure, and had escaped the labeling process, were more likely to be walking time bombs. Normally, those with a diagnosis of bipolar and schizophrenia are prone to committing violent crimes.
Thus the triggers that may be the tipping point where a stable patient goes from his or her placid self into a violent mode are to be identified. Risk assessment is of the essence. However, whether patients with psychosis are bound to turn violent in the end is a moot point. The evidence is scanty at best.
Patients born between 1958 and 1988 were observed. They comprised 2.8 million people. Over 34,903 of them had schizophrenia. Also 29,692 had bipolar disorder.
About 2.7 million were of a normal disposition. They formed the control group. Six trigger events were studied during the course of the survey: exposure to violent behavior, loss of a parent, self-harm, trauma to the head, accidental injuries and intake of hard drugs.
The risk of individuals acting out their frustrations a week from the exposure of the trigger event was highest in schizophrenics. This was followed by those who had bipolar disorder.
Finally, the control group was also prone to some extent to this sort of behavior, yet much less so than the first two samples of mentally ill people.
Exposure to violence was the greatest predictor of future acting out of destructive acts. There may be other factors that have a role to play in this trigger-induced scenario of meaningless violence and mayhem.
Especially, the exposure to stressful life events may be the missing link. Also unintentional wounds and abusing a substance may be other variables that enter the violent crime equation.
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Those who have a major mental illness ought to have a psychiatric diagnosis and get the required medications and psychotherapy sessions. This is a very necessary part of the healing process. It will go a long way towards ensuring that these individuals do not become a danger to self or society anytime in the near future.