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Paper Review: link between Violence and mental illness


graciemae12 1 / -  
Jan 25, 2016   #1
Mental Illness and Violence

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In recent years violence in our country is becoming all too common. We as a society have almost learned to accept it we hear about these horrible mass shootings and then after a few days it is almost like we act as if it didn't happen. We are numb to it in a sense and this makes me sick. I have really tried to research many different topics to see why this is happening. Why are these individuals committing these horrific crimes? One major topic was does ADHD and mental illness have an effect on a person killing another person whether it be one person or a mass shootings.

There are many different opinions on this subject. I feel that after researching this subject it does not matter what religion, race, or values you have as an individual everyone should want these horrible things to stop happening in our great nation. Some articles I read yes there is a strong link between violence and the illnesses that I choose to research, and other articles say that no there is no link at all. I happen to think that yes there is a strong link between the two; however I am a strong believer that this is no excuse for committing a horrible crime such as taking someone's life away. I am really excited about doing this paper for many reasons one being I want to find out if mentally ill commit acts of violence with greater frequency or severity than do their non-mentally ill counterparts. I also think that if we can start educating people on



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this subject and getting people the help they need instead of turning the other cheek until something horrible happens then I feel like this was worth researching. The relationship between mental illness and violence has been the subject of research for the past 20 years, during which progress has been made in identifying the risk factors related to violence. Some studies appear to support a clear link between mental illness and violence, and other studies support the notion that alcohol and drug abuse are the cause of these problems. In my research I found so many articles on this subject and again there are not many opinions on this subject you either think there is a link between violence and mental illness, or you do not think there is. There is one main group of people that have a really strong opinion of there being a link between people that commit violent acts and mental illness they are medical personnel specifically acute care workers. They reported that most of the people that come in with violent behavior are ones that are or will be diagnosed with some type of mental illness. Among many individuals with bipolar disorder, 8.4 percent committed violent crimes compared to 3.5 percent of the general population in Sweden. Of 8,003 individuals with schizophrenia, 13.2 percent committed at least one violent crime compared with 5.3 percent of the general population in a study. Concurrent abuse of alcohol or drugs accounted for much of the increased rate. The general population fear violence that is random, senseless, and unpredictable and they associate this with mental illness. People tend to stay away from people that they think might be mentally ill as oppose to helping them. The population will keep their distance rather try to figure out why someone might be acting strange or a little off. The thing that I found that makes everyone in this society including me is that instead of helping these mentally ill people that commit these crimes we almost just slap them on the wrist for doing what they did and let them get away with it.

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Another problem is we find many times that when these mass shootings happen the shooter will claim that they are mentally ill and that is why they committed a horrible act of violence. The problem with this is one you do not know if they are really mentally ill or not so we as Americans naturally hear this all the time and we are going to associate mental illness with horrible acts of violence. So the first thing in my opinion that needs to be done is that we really find out when someone does a mass shooting if they really are mentally ill. I do think that we need to punish people that do these crimes to the fullest, but before we throw them away for good we need to do research on these individuals I think we can learn more than people think from researching these kinds of situations. I don't really know if they do that or if they just basically stick people in jail to sit for the rest of their lives there was not much research on that topic. I really think in all the research that is where the fine line comes in to play are these people really clinically mentally ill or just sick people that want the attention? If we then answer that then we can get to the bottom of this question in linking mental illness to violence. My sources do not share the same views they are all across the board with this subject and the reason is some sources do not think there is enough evidence to pin down the link between the two subjects. To complete my research I will look up articles on the internet that has been very useful in my findings so far. I really wish I could talk to people that have dealt with this issue first hand, but given the subject I don't think that would be possible. I would like to get a little more concrete evidence that sways me to write about one side or another. At this point I feel that there are so many different things said about this subject I want to have a better idea on the truth of it. I again wish I could do field research on the subject, but I think it is to across the board to do.

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My main concern about this project is that it will be too much information scattered across the board that it will not have a clear point, because there is so much information and so many opinions on the connection between mental illness and violence. I want to stick to one side of the argument but still get a lot of concrete information. I know it would help if I could do interviews and get more field research done. I might try to get a hold of a psychologist that has maybe studied this to see if they have more input or a better incite of what is the better opinion to have on the connection between the two. Right now my opinion is that there is a very strong connection that it is very obvious that these people that commit these horrible crimes have some very very deep issues that need looked at from many different aspects.

Again I feel that the only challenge I might run into is not having enough information that is really concrete information on one part of the subject. In my research for this subject I have found that a lot of the information is opinion and not fact. Also there are so many articles on mental illness being linked with violent behavior, but they are all different some say that yes it is linked and others say it is not linked. I just don't want my paper to be all over the place so that no one will be able to follow my point. I am looking forward to this paper restoring your confidence in me that I still can write well!!

For my final paper I am hoping to educate people on the link between these very important subjects. I know that I have my opinion on mental illness being linked to violent behavior, but I want to give the readers as many facts about the subject to let them form their own conclusion. I want it to be informative, but not boring so that it will capture the reader's interest. I feel that if papers and facts get out to the public that are very informative and truthful it might bring even

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More light to this severe problem. I would love in a dream world for this type of violence to never happen again in this crazy very sick world. I know my little English paper might not help all that much, but I know that I am very interested in this subject and not letting it get swept under the rug and pushed aside anymore. I think if more people start to put this subject in their minds that maybe change will come about sooner rather than later. I think that one of the major reasons I want this problem to get better is the school shootings from these young children who claim to be mentally ill. It is very scary when you have children that go to school and I have a child personally at every grade level. I would be lying if I said I do not worry everyday that something could happen. It is almost like you have to think that something could happen at any minute at any given place and that is scary, but that is just our world at this time and I hate it. Again I really feel this is a very important subject because it deals with saving many lives and if we can save just one life to me that is very worth it! I was very excited to pick this subject to do a paper on, but after you start to do the research it is very scary.

1. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2009;66(2):152-161. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2008.537.
2. Fazel S, Lichtenstein P, Grann M et al. Bipolar disorder and violent crime. Archives of General Psychiatry 2010;67:931-938.
3. Fazel S, Langstrom N, Hjern A et al. Schizophrenia, substance abuse, and violent crime. Journal of the American Medical Association 2009;301:2016-2023.
4. Monahan J. Steadman HJ. Silver E, et al. Risk assessment: the MacArthur Study of Mental Disorder and Violence. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2001.



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