As I’ve banged the drum previously here and here about the lack of a significant relationship between violence and mental illness, I was happy to read an editorial published in today’s Boston Globe, Mentally ill unfairly portrayed as violent by Dr. …

9 Comments to
Mentally Ill Unfairly Portrayed as Violent

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  1. I do hope so.

  2. Unfortunately there is a media bias effect at work. Violent crimes committed by the mentally ill tend to get big play in the media while news items about the everyday problems faced by the mentally ill tend to be ignored.

  3. This also pertains to discrimination against the mentally ill and gun laws.

  4. You ask:

    So can we finally put this myth of some strong link between violence and mental illness to rest?

    My answer:

    No. No one mentioned whether the schizophrenic who murdered 4 Hispanics a block away from my house 6 years ago was using alcohol; it seemed secondary to the fact that he was a schizophrenic off of his meds.

  5. People murder people, it’s a sad fact of all societies, for all time. The point is not to blame the illness for the action of the individual, because there’s no significant higher incidence in people with a mental illness to have a propensity for serious violence.

    Does that mean no murderers will be found to have mental illness? No, it just means that the rates are the same for people with mental illness and those without.

  6. Unfortunately, Scientologists are using this tragic event to further their agenda of destroying Psychiatry. They would have you (and their members) believe that taking any psychiatric medication will have this result, and that psychiatrists are evil for prescribing them. Google the “Citizen’s Commision on Human Rights,” or their museum in L.A. “Psychiatry: An Industry of Death” to see for yourself.

  7. this man was cutting for reasons we aren’t sure of but that would indicate some form of ptsd in him, without looking past the medications we would need to know what his cutting and acd was about, prozac is good for some people in others it causes hyper behavior and loss of caution or risk assesment, what the stopping of it does differs with each individual just as the taking of it does, the tendancy for people to say it was the drug or the guy was disturbed does not repair the system of mental health care, we need to recognize the way mental health care gets the first budget cuts and has the overburden trying to make it’s voice herd, have you ever tried to deal with social services and the cascade of forms and hurdles while dealing with a mental disorder, it can not only be overwhelming, but it can also drive a person into deeper illness, the relatives or significant other is stopped by the very legal system they need to protect themselves and others if a person presents as a danger to their self or others, this is not just my opinion this is from history of dealing with this issue from family experiance and it covers the root of the issue, are we mentally ill and therefore dangerious or are we driven into a silent rage that can be reppressed by medication from the society we live in, there are many aspects of what drives a person into mass or individual murder but the main question I present is why was this individual cutting? this in itself is the disturbing question.

  8. Scientology is just a way for people to get support for their weak areas, and they need to leave the opinion on other forms of support alone, if you have taken psychotropic medications you can’t be a full scientologist, however they overlook drug abuse and addiction, presenting themselves a the way and the cure, this is the double standard that needs to be investigated, if you want to raise in rank and status donate more money. two most typical maniacs are driven by religion or sex, both are ridden with the guilt complex.

  9. Thank you so much for bringing this article to our attention. I wish we could put it to rest. Do you think our human nature wants to be able to blame something and take up a cause against it? I feel like every time the mental health community takes a step forward something comes a long a puts us two steps back.

  10. I think we, as human beings, look for obvious and rational explanations for our behavior, even when we ourselves do not act rationally all the time. Pointing to “Oh, he was mentally ill!” seems so obvious and discriminating, it appeals to the “Occam’s razor” in all of us. Like much of human behavior, however, what is the most simplistic and seemingly “obvious” explanation isn’t always the truth.

  11. I will have to see what comes out with the course of this site, I get frustrated with “comments without merit” after years of stigma and the burden of trying to give insite into this veiwpoint of the slobbering raving maniac that goes out and kills indiscriminatly v/s the person who with a better understanding of what exactly was going on rather then medicating him into a stupor and telling the person what a great drug he’s taking, brain science is at best not very understood chemically, not even mentioning how little is known about cell chemistry v/s mental illness, I am in a constant struggle with my brain telling my mind wrong or distorted information and if it wasn’t for strong education into what I think and why my mind could be deceived by my brain,
    we are just finding that chemotherapy drugs like tomoxfin can shorten a manic episode so there is a glimmer that some of what goes on can be introcellular as much as communication between cells, See Ya and thank you for the input, I have bookmarked this site and the links to others, may all be well with readers and posters including the Doctor who took time.

  12. This is so true. I blame the media more than anyone else though! As someone with DID, I constantly have to correct people who think that “MPD” makes you have violent alters who kill people. Have there been any TRULY multiple people who killed someone? Especially without extreme circumstances? Thank you, television, for (mis)teaching people that people with DID are prone to killing people.

    The most criminal thing my alters have ever done is write bad checks, and even that wasn’t deliberate. Things just get crazy when 11 different people try to use the same checking account.

  13. What about multi-generational sexual abuse/incest? Don’t Providers say that a person “offends” (euphemism for “rapes”) because they, themselves, were victimised sexually as a child? When a child rapes another, younger, child – they say “It’s not their fault, they were just doing what they learned.” Being abused sexually/incestually is the root of many mental disorders. So, theoretically, all involved have mental illnesses. Therefore, why do some victims help and protect those weaker than themselves and some victims torture those weaker than themselves simply because they can “turn the tables” and be the one in power? I think the difference is a little thing called EVIL.

    Mentally ill or mentally stable, a person CHOSES to hurt another person. Why do some make that choice, when they, themselves, went through the trauma of being victimised and objectified? Why do they not “offend” against the person who abused them? You don’t hear that too often. Maybe consistent abuse leads to the cowardice revealed in violence against those weaker – usually women and children, and invalids.

    Please respond, everyone! This is a great topic to tackle. Mental patients are discriminated against in so many ways. This seems like adding insult to injury. First you get an abusive childhood, then an abusive relationship, then when you finally “Snap” you are labelled forever weak (even though your experiences have made you STRONGER than those who look down on you). You are not allowed to carry arms to defend yourself (even though research shows that victims of sexual abuse as a child are extremely more likely to be abused again and again through life. Raped, robbed, pimped, – who needs a gun for protection more?) No one will insure you, so no one will hire you. No one will allow you to have custody of your children. No one wants to date you. No one will give you a loan. No one would vote for you! If you need longterm care, no one will pay for it – not even the government. We are set up for elder abuse and homelessness and abject poverty. Don’t abuse victims ever get a break?!? Maybe when we die. And people don’t understand why we try to commit suicide!!

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