Psychosis and violence are not really linked together, study finds

Television has perpetuated the already classic image of a violent, psychotic criminal, up to the point where we basically associate the two. We often tend to think of violent people as psychotic, and psychotic people as violent. But as a new study has found, that’s not really the case: there’s no strong correlation between violence and psychosis.

Psychosis (not to be mistaken for psychopathy)is an abnormal condition of the mind described as involving a “loss of contact with reality”, but as it’s often the case with mental conditions, that’s vague and can mean several things. The term “psychosis” is very broad and can mean anything from relatively normal but a bit strange perception to complete schizophrenia and hallucinations.

Modern psychology has, for some time, started to break down the idea that psychotic people are more violent, but the public’s perception still stands. Now, in a new study published in Clinical Psychological Science by APS Fellow Jennifer Skeem (University of California, Berkeley) and colleagues confirm that the link between the two is not as strong as we think. They interviewed over 1,000 violent offenders every 10 weeks for a year, examining if the participants had committed any violence (e.g., physical injury, sexual assault, use of a weapon) and whether psychosis preceded that violence.

First of all, their results confirmed that many violent cases are caused by a small number of people. 10% of individuals were responsible for 50% of the violent incidents that occurred in the year after the offenders were discharged. Out of the repeat offenders, about half of them reported symptoms of psychosis, but only 12% of violent incidents were preceded by symptoms of psychosis, indicating that at any rate, the psychosis itself wasn’t the cause of the violent offense.

Furthermore, using multilevel modeling, the researchers determined that there were mainly two types of repeat violent offenders:

those who never experienced a psychotic event before a violent episode (80%)
those who occasionally  experienced psychosis before violence (15%)

This shows that the popular conception of a criminal becoming psychotic before a violent/criminal act is actually very rare.


I noticed that im the only one here thats mentioned violent thoughts,i guess im just a classic tv schizo and one of the few.

15% is still higher than the percentage of the population that experiences psychosis though. So there may be a small link, but I think if you took illegal drugs out of the equation and put proper medication into the equation, there may be no link at all.

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I get violent intrusive thoughts sometimes.

As long as we control them that’s what matters right?

I hit a hospital worker the first (and only) time I was hospitalized :confused:

Which is so full of circular logic that almost everyone in the field is laughing at it… and sending notes to each other wondering who the ■■■■ this idiot is… and who her review committee was made up of.

The principle criticism is that she assumes that because such a low # of crimes are committed by the severely psychotic (a very small %age of the total population, after all), that such people are less dangerous than the “average bozo.” But she does not define her parameters well, nor does she own up to the fact that people dxd as psychotic commit the overwhelming share of mass killings and assassinations in the US and Europe.

Again, people believe what they want to. In this case it looks like they do so because they are over-identified with those who are objectified in such articles and believe themselves to be “accused” (somehow) by the article. Isn’t that… typical paranoid delusional psychotic thinking?

Write whatever you want, but figure this: Those who protest too much are making their delusionality public.

Control who? Those who are paranoid delusional psychotic with potential to be violent? In case you hadn’t noticed, Big Pharma “fixed us all 50 years ago” when Thorazine came out, and the taxpayers who wanted whatever else they wanted effectively told the politicians to let everyone out of the asylums.

No sorry for the confusion I meant ‘them’ violent thoughts.

Ohhhh, very sorry in return. (If =I= misunderstand, =I= need to clean it up. So. Thanks for the opportunity.)

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Taking religious nut case freaks out of equation would lower it even more.

That sucks! Dude…man…
Violence sucks.

At least you know that,i think thats great.