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Mental Health And Violence Essay

1823 words - 8 pages

Are people with mental health problems at increased risk of committing violence? Discuss

What Is The Link Between Mental Health And Violence?

The link between mental health problems and violence is complex. The link between the two needs to assess the circumstances and other influential reasons when deciding whether people with mental health problems are at increased risk of committing violence. This essay will argue that people with mental health problems are modestly at an increased risk of violence but when influenced by substance abuse the risk of committing violence is at a greater risk. The scope of the essay will consider works from academic journals and empirical ...view middle of the document...

These psychiatric drugs that was meant to control their mental health problems and help relieve unwanted symptoms became the relevant cause to their aggressions and not necessarily because of their mental health problems. Making the aggression the cause of increased violence and not the mental health problem. Assessing substance abuse like psychiatric medication brings attention to other forms of substance abuse that should be considered when looking at the effects it may pertain to someone who has mental health problems.

Other substances that play a part in the role and increased risk of violence in mentally unhealthy patients are drugs and alcohol. The National Institutes of Mental Health Epidemiologic Catchment Area examined various psychiatric disorders of 17,803 subjects in five US communities. Although the research originally was not designed to collect data on violence, it recovered over 7000 from the subjects. They defined "violence" as someone with a weapon or in a situation with someone that would be frightening. According to the research conducted by Swanson (1994) it found people with serious mental health problems and violence among them to be of 16% compared with someone with no mental health problems at 7%.

Through this research it shows not all types of psychiatric illnesses had increases in violence like anxiety disorders and depression. However, the use of substance abuse among the people with mental health problems does increase the risk of violence. With one study showing among 802 adults with severe psychotic disorders showed the increase of violence with substance abuse as a correlating risk factor. In this study it has shown not all patients with mental health problems are violent. However, a patient with acute psychosis and has substance abuse, they would be at a higher risk of becoming violent as mentioned by Freidman (2006) in the New England Journal of Medicine.

This main data research mentioned by Freidman (2006) showed patients with mental health problems are at a greater risk of increased violence with substance abuse. The lifetime prevalence of violent behaviour among people with or without major psychiatric illnesses and substance abuse found people with no major illness at 7.3%. Compared with people with major illness and substance abuse at 43.6%. The data mentioned by Freidman (2006) showed the significance in substance abuse with the people who are mentally unhealthy and reports on violence within that year. Which shows the increase risk of violence among people with mental health problems and who have substance abuse problems.

The link between violence and people with mental health problems, in absolute terms is not significantly greater. Also the risk of violence omitted by someone with mental health problems is a smaller proportion within society. The extenuating risk factors like substance abuse should be considered when assessing the research on people with mental health...

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