New Study Dispels Myth About “Mental Illness” and Violence


From Pacific Standard: “A new study published in JAMA Psychiatry dispels that relationship. Study authors Jeffrey Swanson and Charles Belden found that, not only is the connection shoddy—the 44-plus million American adults with a mental illness account for between 3 and 5 percent of violent crimes—but in fact those who have a mental illness are more likely to be the victim of a violent crime. Further, one-quarter of all mentally ill Americans are the victim of a violent crime per year, a figure that’s well above the existing rates of violent victimization across the United States.”

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  1. I think it’s fairly well accepted that “Mentally Ill” People have a low tendency towards violence.

    The danger is in starting “medication” changing medication and stopping medication (abruptly) and this is due to the drugs not the person – but this phenomenon is suppressed by Psychiatry and not widely understood.

    (I experienced a series of suicidal hospitalizations between 1980 and 1984 and none since. I can substantiate the “medication” connection, and I can substantiate the medical suppression).

    Besides this, there’s always a chance that an upset person can over react.

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  2. Any group you name will have a percentage who commit violent crimes. It is only bigotry that LOOKS for examples to prove that a particular group is “worse” than others. I am reminded of the rhetoric about “immigrants” being “criminals” and “rapists” when the actual data shows that the illegal immigrant population has a slightly LOWER rate of crime than the general US population. But you can pick out an example where one Latino immigrant is violent and say, “See, he’s right, THEY are so violent!” There is really no difference between this and saying “mental illness causes violence.” It’s bigotry, 100%.

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  3. The headache about mental health and violence is exacerbated by the few that do occur because the afflicted individual acts out some spectacular delusion and straight people use this to conjure up delusions of their own- being that all of us are concealing spectacular delusions that repeatedly urge us to act them out.

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  4. Wait a minute…44-plus million? Prove it, and beyond a shadow of a doubt if you could. (Which, of course, you can’t.) Nobody committed any act of violence until he or she has been proven guilty of doing so in a court of law. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of “mental illness”. All it takes to “have” one of those is an “expert” opinion. Want to end forced treatment? I believe that if, rather than a hearing before a magistrate, a trial by jury were required to commit a person to the state hospital, forced treatment would soon be history.

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