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Violence and Mental Illness
Research: Violence & Mental Illness Research: Violence & Mental Illness MacArthur Foundation Violence Risk Assessment Study (1998) significant under-reporting of violence perpetrated by discharged mentally ill immediate family members most often targeted; such violence most likely to occur within the home
Research: Violence & Mental Illness (cont.) MacArthur Foundation Violence Risk Assessment Study (1998) Diagnosis% Violence None 4.6 Major Mental Illness17.9 Major Mental Illness & Substance Abuse31.1 Other Mental Disorder & Substance Abuse43.0
Research: Violence & Mental Illness (cont.) specific symptoms, such as command hallucinations to perpetrate violence, predicted violence (Monahan et al., 2001), as did comorbid MMI and substance use disorders (Steadman et al., 1998). MMI, including psychotic disorders, played a very small role in the violence of patients.
Elbogen and Johnson (2009) analyzed a two-wave epidemiological data set of 34,653 persons residing in the community in the United States. The authors reported that MMI, did not predict violence However, comorbid MMI and substance use disorders did predict later violence, more so than substance use disorders alone, suggesting an interaction between MMI and substance use disorders.
Elbogen & Johnson (cont.) Although the odds of future violence among those with schizophrenia alone were about double the odds of future violence among persons without schizophrenia, this association was not statistically significant
Additional Research MMI remains predictive of violence in the presence of other risk factors that have been entered into multivariate analyses (Swanson et al., 2006) or after adjusting for population parameters
Douglas, Guy & Hart (2009) Meta-analytic study of research on the association between psychosis and violence analyzing effect sizes from 204 studies. The median of the effect sizes indicated that psychosis was significantly associated with a 49%–68% increase in the odds of violence. psychosis measured as a diagnosis of schizophrenia or measured at symptom level more predictive
USCP Data re: Mentally Ill Subjects Overall, nearly 40% of the USCP threat assessment caseload involves persons who display symptoms of obvious/serious mental illness Substantially more likely to approach Substantially more likely to use multiple methods of contact Less likely to threat before approach—but when make threats, risk of approach is substantial More likely to be driven by personal or delusion- driven motives when approach
Implications for Threat Assessment Focus upon symptoms, not diagnosis Nature of threat inherent in symptom to subject and target Nature of grievance inherent in symptom Personalized nature of grievance Context—why now? Current stressors?
Hallucinations False or distorted sensory experiences that appear to be real perceptions. These sensory impressions are generated by the mind rather than by any external stimuli, and may be seen, heard, felt, and even smelled or tasted.
Delusions A false belief that is firmly held despite logical and confirming evidence to the contrary. Different types, for example: Grandeur Paranoia/Persecutory
Factors Associated with Violent Recidivism Clinical Factors Principle of “rationality within irrationality” Particular symptoms: Delusions Hallucinations Symptom Severity Violent Fantasies
Psychotic Symptoms Indicative of Risk Threat/control override symptoms command hallucinations hallucination related to delusion source of voice is identifiable to patient delusion indicates immediate physical harm thought insertion/broadcasting delusions perceived loss of bodily control
Interview Issues: Mental Illness Principle of “rationality within irrationality” Do not argue with delusions mental illness not equal limited intelligence Have subject educate regarding issues involved Careful use of confrontation Direct questions regarding dangerousness not always useful-- use of indirect or third party perspective questions
Interview Issues: Mental Illness “What if…” questions Role of external stressors as triggers Exceptions to when not acted on hallucinations/delusions or other symptoms Do not neglect role of alcohol Recognize need for future contacts