Factors Linking Violent Behavior and Mental Illness

The link between mental health and violence is widely assumed across all sections of the society. It is believed that those with mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (BD) display violent behavior, with a tendency to commit serious offenses, including assault, theft and homicide, among others.

A 2016 study conducted by the North Carolina State University, RTI International, Arizona State University and Duke University Medical Center on the victimization of people with mental illnesses revealed that violence was inextricably interlinked with mental disorders.

One violent event leads to 39 other additional effects

During the course of the study, 3,473 respondents answered questionnaires related to violence and victimization. The study involved addressing the following two fundamental questions:

· If someone is victimized, is he or she more likely to become violent?

· If someone is violent, is he or she more likely to be victimized?

According to Richard Van Dorn, lead author of the study, “The answer is yes, to both questions.” This implies that the vicious cycle of violence and victimization extended beyond one random incident. The cascading impact of violence was more profound in people with substance use disorder. For example, drug abuse was found to be associated with committing violence, while alcohol abuse was a leading indicator of being victimized.

Apart from violence and victimization, the study also highlighted that affective symptoms such as anxiety, depression, etc., were closely linked to violence. As explained by Sarah Desmarais, an associate professor of psychology at NC State and co-author of the paper, “The more pronounced affective symptoms were, the more likely someone was to both commit violence and be a victim of violence.”

Even one violent incident involving a mentally ill can be disastrous, owing to the prevailing bias and misconception in the society. Whether a victim or a perpetrator, the price is often paid by the mentally ill. According to the researchers, even a single event of victimization was responsible for causing seven other effects, such as psychological symptoms, homelessness, becoming perpetrators of violence, among others. These seven effects in turn triggered an additional 39 effects.

In order to prevent this vicious cycle, the study called for investment in community-based mental health treatment programs. Community-based welfare programs are more effective in reducing violent events than waiting for patients to show up in the legal records as either victims or perpetrators of violence, said the researchers.

Help is just a call away

For most patients with mental health problems, the path to well-being and recovery begins at home. Most mental health disorders can be managed with medications, therapy and counseling. Advancement in technology has given considerable leverage to mental health treatment. Apart from the family, community health centers have till date shown considerable efficiency in taking care of the mentally ill.

Mental health disorders can have an adverse impact on personal and professional life of an individual. Untreated mental disorders also take a toll on the health of caretakers, family members and friends. However, mental disorders are treatable and recovery is possible through evidence-based diagnosis and treatment programs. Many people with a mental health problem like anxiety or depression lead productive lives and do well in their respective fields.

If you or a loved one is suffering from any kind of mental disorder, the Colorado Mental Health Help can assist you in finding the best Mental health rehab in Colorado that provides holistic treatment to help a person regain control of his or her life. Call our 24/7 helpline number 866–899–5063 to know more about mental health treatment in Colorado.