Are Individuals with Schizophrenia More Likely to Become Violent?

Only a small proportion of violent behavior reported in our society can be attributed to persons with schizophrenia. Studies consistently indicate that there is a modest connection between violence and schizophrenia. Complex risk factors for violence in the schizophrenic population are poorly understood.

The Facts
According to Treatment Advocacy Center, most individuals with serious mental illnesses are not dangerous. In their publication, Violent Behavior: One of the Consequences of Failing to Treat Individuals with Severe Mental Illnesses (2011), Treatment Advocacy Center outlines the following:

• Most acts of violence are committed by individuals who are not mentally ill.
• Being a young male or being a substance abuser (alcohol or drugs) is a greater risk factor for violent behavior than being mentally ill.
• Individuals with serious mental illnesses are victimized by violent acts more often than they commit violent acts
• If people with serious mental illnesses are being appropriately treated, there is no evidence that they are any more dangerous than individuals in the general population.

“All of the above statements are true, but it is also true that a small number of individuals with serious mental illnesses commit acts of violence, including 5 to 10 percent of all homicides. Almost all these acts of violence are committed by individuals who are not being treated, and many such individuals are also abusing alcohol or drugs” (Treatment Advocacy Center, 2011).

Substance Abuse and Schizophrenia
Individuals with schizophrenia who abuse alcohol and are exposed to violence themselves are more likely to become violent. Therefore, increased treatment for substance abuse and mental health counseling is a strategy to combat potential violent behavior in this population.

Addressing the Stigma
Making others aware of these facts and observations will hopefully lessen the misperception that individuals with schizophrenia are more violent than members of the general population.

More Articles

Treating schizophrenia with medication often yields positive results. Nowadays, there are many...

An estimated 30% of people with schizophrenia have refractory schizophrenia, which means their...

Understanding the pathophysiology of schizophrenia (or, in other words, the physiological...

There are a number of talented musicians who have suffered from schizophrenia at some point in...

While most people can’t fathom purposely hurting themselves, self-injury is not uncommon with certain types of psychiatric disorders. Although it...

More Articles

More Articles

Treating schizophrenia with medication often yields positive results. Nowadays, there are many...

An estimated 30% of people with schizophrenia have refractory schizophrenia, which means their...

Understanding the pathophysiology of schizophrenia (or, in other words, the physiological...

There are a number of talented musicians who have suffered from schizophrenia at some point in...

While most people can’t fathom purposely hurting themselves, self-injury is not uncommon with certain types of psychiatric disorders. Although it...

Although schizophrenia goes back several thousand years, this most serious of psychiatric disorders was not officially coined “schizophrenia”...

It is not uncommon for people with schizophrenia to exhibit abnormal movements. These may include rocking, pacing, posturing, strange mannerisms,...

There are two commonly used sets of criteria for diagnosing schizophrenia and other mental health disorders: the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual...

The neurotransmitter serotonin is known to influence a number of important brain functions, including perception, mood, sleep, appetite, cognition...

There are a number of different research methods used in psychology, but one of the most interesting to the layperson is the case study. Case...

The question of whether people with schizophrenia know they are ill is actually quite...

The term "schizophrenic break" refers to an episode of acute psychosis in someone with...

Creatine is a type of acid naturally manufactured by our liver, pancreas and kidneys. One of its primary roles in the body is to provide energy...

No one knows exactly what causes schizophrenia, and there are a number of...

Acute schizophrenia is what most people think of when they think of schizophrenia: varying...