Mental Health and Violence Essay

1568 Words Jun 21st, 2012 7 Pages
Are people with mental illness more violent than the rest of the population?
If you only listen to the media, you are sure to answer, “Yes”.
However, most of us know that the media is not the most reliable source of information.
In fact, the media has a Tendency to bend the facts, plucking out stories and statistics that colour the truth in order to popularize their Medium.
Most people who have mental health problems experience symptoms, and gradually recover. They may pick Up where they left off, or head in a new direction in life. Everybody’s experience of mental ill health is Different and everybody’s recovery is therefore individual. For a minority of people, the symptoms of their mental health problem might lead them to act
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In fact, the presence of co-variant Factors is a strong indicator for violence in any individual, regardless of whether or not they have a mental illness.Some co-variants are
• A history of violence: One of the strongest predictors of future violent behaviour is a past history of violence, whether it was experienced as an observer, a victim or a perpetrator.

• Substance use problems: Whether it is drugs or alcohol, use of either substance seems to increase the

• Likelihood of violence by sevenfold. In fact, some studies show that substance use problems increase the risk of violence in any individual far more than the effects of a major mental disorder.

• Socioeconomic environment: Not surprisingly, homelessness, lack of social support, poverty and inadequate housing has also been found to contribute towards violent behaviour.

• Gender and youth: Being a young, male adult can also add to the risk factors associated with violence.

Remember – a person with co-variant factors but no mental illness is far more likely to commit acts of Violence than someone with mental health issues and none of the co-variants.
Investigation of the link between mental illness and violence is important but it could be argued that up until now it Has dominated our thinking too much, which has led to the neglect of other important considerations.
It is as Valuable to identify and evaluate effective treatment models such as cognitive behaviour therapy and

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