Witnessing stressful event increases odds for mentally ill patients to engage in violent crime

Witnessing stressful event increases odds for mentally ill patients to engage in violent crime

Stressful experiences are not healthy for both, people with mental illness, and without psychiatric disorders. But researchers said that the former category is affected at the greater extent. They are more likely to indulge into violent crime in the week following the trauma.

Study’s co-author Seena Fazel, professor of forensic psychiatry at the University of Oxford in England, explained that stressful events like being victimized, injured in an accident, losing parent or self harming, act as triggers.

If a person, especially the one who has been suffering from mental illness, experiences one of these events then the risk of carrying out a violent criminal act within a week of that trigger. The researchers said that people having mental illness are at an increased risk of criminal act than others.

The study findings are consistent with a significant piece of literature that suggests that exposure to violence is among the risk factors for violence. In the study, the researchers have used a sample of more than 2.8 million people born in Sweden between 1958 and 1988.

Main aim of the study was to go through potential triggers for violent crime. Out of the total, around 35,000 were having schizophrenia, and nearly 30,000 were having bipolar discovered. Over 27 million health individuals acted as control group.

In the study, violent crime was considered to be conviction for homicide, assault, robbery, threats and violent act against an officer, unlawful threats, kidnapping, arson and certain sexual offenses, among others.

From the assessment it was found that victimization is the largest ‘absolute’ risk of violence. The researcher paper published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry said that people who experience a stressfull event should not be exposed to additional stress in the following week.


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