Essay, 9 pages (2000 words)

Schizophrenia and crime essay

Schizophrenia, from the Greek roots schizein (to split) and phren- (mind), is a psychiatric diagnosis that explains a mental illness characterized by impairments in the perception or expression of reality, most normally manifesting as hearing hallucinations, paranoid or weird delusions or disorganized speech and thinking in the context of significant social or occupational dysfunction.

Onset of indications typically occurs in young adulthood, with about 0. 4–0. 6% of the population affected.Diagnosis is based on the patient’s self-reported experiences and observed actions. People with schizophrenia make a significant part to violence in our communities and, in so doing, often lay waste to their own lives.

The 10% or so from which will emerge the perpetrators of most of the serious violence are identifiable in advance. A prearranged program in which the criminal personality and behavioral factors, material misuse and social dislocation are managed together with the active symptoms of the disorder could prevent the progress to violence.Such systems of care could drastically reduce serious criminal violence and homicide; reduce the number of people with schizophrenia who end up in penitentiary, stop the rising number of forensic psychiatric beds and, most importantly, recover the lives of many of the most disturbed and disadvantaged of those with the disorder. The crime rate among schizophrenia patients is higher than in the common population and it is steadily increasing in spite of criminality in the general population being stagnant.The increasing crime rate is a crisis for society as well as for the mentally afflicted and his or her family. The schizophrenic has to fight not only the disease but also the disgrace associated with criminality or being seen as a probable offender.

The disorder is chiefly thought to affect cognition, but it also typically contributes to chronic problems with behavior and emotion.People diagnosed with schizophrenia are likely to be analyzed with co morbid situation, counting clinical depression and anxiety disorders; the lifetime prevalence of substance abuse is typically around 40%. Social troubles, such as long-term joblessness, poverty and homelessness, are general and life expectancy is decreased; the average life anticipation of people with the disorder is 10 to 12 years less than those without, owing to increased bodily health problems and a high suicide rate.A population-based longitudinal study of all event cases of schizophrenia (n = 538) in the London Borough of Camberwell between 1964 and 1984. The rates of criminal assurances are compared with those in a control sample representative of non schizophrenic mental disorders coordinated for sex, age, and period. The results show that women with schizophrenia have an increased rate of offending diagonally all offence classes (rate ratio = 3. ). There is no overall amplify for males, but a specific increase for brutal convictions (rate ratio = 3.

8). Looking at the risk of obtaining a first conviction, there is an independent but modest effect of schizophrenia (hazard ratio = 1. 4), but the belongings of gender, essence abuse, civilization and age at onset were more extensive.Sequential relationship between illness onset and the probable beginning of a criminal career among people with schizophrenia, still though criminality, particularly brutal criminality, has been shown to be more general among people with schizophrenia than among people in general.

Among the males with schizophrenia, 37% started a criminal vocation and 13% had dedicated first violent crime before first get in touch with the psychiatric hospital system.The criminality committed before first contact to the psychiatric hospital system is extensive, mainly among males with schizophrenia. It has been recommended that schizophrenia and alcoholism are associated with violent behavior.

But so far there are no available studies from unselected associates quantifying the genuine risk connected with schizophrenia both with and without co morbid alcoholism.In this study, an unselected birth cohort (= 11,017) was prospectively followed to the age of 26, and data on psychiatric disorders and crimes were collected from national registers. The odds ratios for violent offenses and recidivism were calculated for each diagnostic group. Men who abused alcohol and were diagnosed with schizophrenia were 25.

2 (95% poise interval (CI) 6. 1-97. 5) times more likely to commit violent crimes than mentally vigorous men.The risk for nonalcoholic patients with schizophrenia was 3. 6 (95% CI 0. 9-12. 3) and for other psychoses, 7. 7 (95% CI 2.

2-23. 9). None of the patients with schizophrenia who did not abuse alcohol were recidivists (;2 offenses), but the risk for committing more crimes amongst alcoholic subjects with schizophrenia was 9. 5-fold (95% CI 2. 7-30.

0). This study suggests that to prevent the crimes being committed by people with schizophrenia, it is significant that clinicians watch for co morose alcohol abuse.Mediators’ essence mistreatment there is a substantial body of opinion, chiefly in the USA, that the major factor of crime and violence in people both with and without mental disorder is essence misuse. Epidemiological facts in schizophrenia supports the strength of the correlation connecting substance misuse and criminal behavior (Swanson et al, 1990; Steadman et al, 1998; Soyka, 2000; Steele et al, 2003; Wallace et al, 2004).Persons with schizophrenia who also maltreatment alcohol and drugs are currently accountable for most offending behavior, and some studies report that rates of violence among people with schizophrenia but no known matter use problems are no higher than those for organize populations (Monahan et al, 2001). The authors suggested that schizophrenia in the absence of substance misuse is a defensive factor against violent performance (Steadman et al, 1998).Given the prestige of Steadman and his co-authors this assertion has been widely acknowledged.

However, as noted above, controlling for a mediator in effect controls for the authority of the schizophrenia. Moreover, you can only conclude that substance misuse itself is a causal factor when you have excluded the possibility that both the violence and the essence misuse are mediated, totally or in part, by a general third factor. The most likely candidates for such a third factor are personality traits and/or social conditions.

Above figure shows mediators have a formal relationship with Schizophrenia: they increase the probability of violence (1) or they are casually related to a third factor that raises the risk of violence (2, 3) confounders either has a formal but unrelated relationship with both Schizophrenia and violence (4) or are the result of both Schizophrenia and violence without mediating any connection for the two (5, 6) practically many reasons operate partly as mediators and partly as confounders of the relationship.Signs and symptoms- A person experiencing schizophrenia may demonstrate symptoms such as disorganized thinking, auditory hallucinations, and delusions. In severe cases, the person may be largely mute, remain motionless in bizarre postures, or exhibit purposeless agitation; these are signs of catatonia. The current classification of psychoses holds that symptoms need to have been present for at least one month in a period of at least six months of disturbed functioning.No one sign is diagnostic of schizophrenia and all can occur in other medical and psychiatric conditions.

Social isolation commonly occurs and may be due to a number of factors. Impairment in social cognition is associated with schizophrenia, as are the active symptoms of paranoia from delusions and hallucinations, and the negative symptoms of apathy and abolition. Many people diagnosed with schizophrenia avoid potentially stressful social situations that may exacerbate mental distress.Late teenage years and early adulthood are peak years for the start of schizophrenia. These are dangerous periods in a young adult’s social and occupational development, and they can be cruelly disrupted by disease onset. To decrease the result of schizophrenia, much work has newly been done to identify and treat the pre-onset phase of the illness, which has been perceived up to 30 months before the beginning of symptoms, but may be present longer.Those who go on to build up schizophrenia may experience the non-specific symptoms of social extraction, touchiness and dysphasia in the pre-onset period, and transient or self-limiting psychotic indications in the pre-onset phase before psychosis becomes obvious. Various psychological means have been concerned in the growth and maintenance of schizophrenia.

Cognitive biases that have been identified in those with a diagnosis or those at risk, particularly when beneath stress or in puzzling situations, include excessive notice to potential threats, jumping to conclusions, making external attributions, impaired reasoning about social situations and mental states, difficulty distinguishing inner speech on or after language from an external source, and difficulties with early visual processing and maintaining concentration.Despite a common appearance of “blunted affect”, recent findings indicate that a lot of individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia are highly emotionally responsive, chiefly to stressful or unenthusiastic incentive, and that such compassion may cause weakness to symptoms or to the disorder. Some evidence suggests that the content of delusional beliefs and psychotic experiences can reflect poignant causes of the disorder. Legal issue- Patients are apprehended under civil or criminal events. They are confessed from court, prison or other psychiatric hospitals.

Their care integrates the organization of legal procedures such as review of detention; opinions on psychiatric defenses; suggestions to court regarding detention for assessment or final removal; and preparation of reports for appeals against certainty, sentencing or detention. Proof for the above may be required in written and/or oral format. Some patients have restrictions placed on their discharge on account of the nature of their offence, their preceding history and likely risk of harm to the public as a result of their mental disorder, if free.Screening and prevention There are no dependable markers for the later development of schizophrenia although research is being conducted into how well a mixture of genetic risk plus non-disabling psychosis-like knowledge predicts later diagnosis.

People who fulfill the ‘ultra high-risk mental state’ criteria, so as to comprise a family history of schizophrenia plus the presence of transient or self-limiting psychotic experiences, have a 20–40% chance of being diagnosed with the situation after one year.The use of psychological treatments and medicine has been found successful in reducing the odds of people who fulfill the ‘high-risk’ criteria from developing full-blown schizophrenia. However, the treatment of people who may never develop schizophrenia is contentious, in light of the side-effects of antipsychotic medication. The most widely used form of pre-emptive health care for schizophrenia takes the form of public edification campaigns that provide information on risk issues, early detection and cure choices.Conclusion:- The issue of the schizophrenic criminal is not as easy as simply calling it a criminal since accurately of these hidden mechanisms. It is the mechanism of believing, either make it true always or make it false forever, in both extremes laying the outcome of destruction.

A simple example: mentioning someone dead, a few will try to kill to make that death true.It is that self part, that self insinuation that matches as pattern the contents and workings of another brain, the fasten that makes that brain consider that information, once the necessary patterns of neural activation are recognized, to consider it as non noise and give it meaning, decode it. It is not indispensable that a particular person be known bodily, just the concept of that person is enough for her to get the message if that brain is polarized, magnetized enough.Hence any reason of the message, even if particular, can influence more than one person, even under some situation a whole population, which means that equating these phenomena, biological radio and crime, can turn whole populations into disgusting victims, even produce frenzies of crimes and violence, mobs, as most people, under intimidation or doubt of being criminalized, will act in unexpected and hysteric ways.

From these possibilities arise the nightmare of the Contradiction, the self fulfilled prophecy that makes rejection sense by itself but can be turn true in any minute just by bearing in mind it, just by raising the issue! Edipoe Rex and the Gree tragedy are their first written language of the forecast that contrasting turn itself true. All of these facts designate that aggression is not necessarily a characteristic of mental disorders but occurs with a low amount of frequency among mentally ill.However, people with convinced mental disorders and who have some symptoms are at a higher risk in engaging violence. Past brutal acts and substance use disorders are apparently foremost risk factors linked with future violence. Mental health professionals have some, albeit limited, ability to predict future violence. However, the risk estimation is crucial and could be life-saving for the patient and people correlated to him or her.

It should be part of everyday psychiatric assessment parallel to enquiring suicide and self-mutilation.Good clinical practice compels clinicians to familiarize themselves with risk factors and configuration their interviews, which enable guided verdict in management of violent patients. Regression trees like ITC can be used as a recollection aide or an assessment guide.

One has to also bear in mind that assessment of violence is an continuing course and should be individualized. Some patients may necessitate close monitoring whilst risk appraisal for some others can be reduced with taking proper measures within minutes.References:1.Runa  Munkner,  “  Schizophrenia  and  crime”,  22  Feb.



  1. Pirkko  Rasanen,  Jari  Tiihonen,  Matti  Isohanni,  Paula  RantakaUio,

Jari  Lehtonen,  and  Juha  M.oring,    “Schizophrenia,  Alcohol  Abuse,  and  ViolentBehavior:  A  26-Year  Followup  Study  of  an  Unselected  Birth  Cohort”,  22  Feb.  2008.www.schizophreniabulletin.oxfordjournals.


  1. Lindsay  D.  G.  Thomson,  “Management  of  schizophrenia  in  conditions  of  high  security”  22  Feb.  2008.



  1. Danilo  J  Bonsignore,  “Theory  of  beliefs,  belief  fields”  22  Feb.  2008.



  1. Linda  A.  Teplin,  Karen  M.  Abram,  and  Gary  M.  McClelland,  “Does  Psychiatric  Disorder  Predict  Violent  Crime  Among  Released  Jail  Detainees?”  22  Feb.




  1. T.  Turgut,  D.  Lagace,  M.

    Izmir,  and  S.  Dursun,  “Assessment  of  Violence  and  Aggression  in  Psychiatric  Settings:  Descriptive  Approaches”  22  Feb.  2008.


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