The precise nature of the relationship between severe mental illness and violence has continued to elude researchers for decades. Mental illnesses specifically with features of psychosis—often characterized as hallucinations or delusions—tend to foster strong associations with violence among the public, regardless of whether or not it is accurate. Bipolar disorder often gets tangled into notions of extreme aggression and impulsivity, as well as an inability to control violent inclinations. This may be due to the inflated coverage by the mass media on violent crimes committed by those with histories of psychiatric care. In reality, it is likely that other external variables influence the correlation between bipolar disorder and violence. For example, trait impulsivity, comorbid substance use disorder, genetic influences, and early involvement in juvenile detention systems are just a few of the variables thought to affect the association. Social influences especially highlight the necessity of strong treatment programs for all patients, both in prison and in the community. Furthermore, an increased effort for transparency regarding true correlations between mental illness and violence in the media is certainly a step in the right direction.
Halverson, Annalise S.
"An Illuminative Exploration of Criminality and Violence in
Mānoa Horizons: Vol. 4
, Article 10.
Available at: https://kahualike.manoa.hawaii.edu/horizons/vol4/iss1/10