Untreated Psychosis and Violence: It’s Not a Stigma if it’s True

Author, After Her Brain Broke: Helping My Daughter Recover Her Sanity

People with untreated psychotic disorders have a higher rate of violence than do the general population. The word “untreated” can’t be overemphasized. People whose severe mental illnesses are treated do not commit more violent acts than do other people.

Acknowledging this reality is not politically correct and I can already anticipate the furious accusations of promoting stigma that this column will produce.

Current anti-stigma campaigns emphasize that most people with mental illnesses aren’t violent. This is very true. They also point out that people with mental illnesses are much more likely to be the victims of violence rather than the perpetrators. Also true. But if we want the public to understand all aspects of mental illness, we need to start with the facts and the research is clear that people with untreated psychosis are a greater danger to themselves and others than people who aren’t psychotic. Complete article.


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