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Medical News & Perspectives
August 15, 2012

Evidence Suggests Complex Links Between Violence and Schizophrenia

JAMA. 2012;308(7):658-659. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.9364

Graphic crimes involving individuals with schizophrenia often make the headlines, but these sensational cases belie the complicated relationship between the disorder and violence.

Media reports of violence by patients with mental illness, particularly schizophrenia, may make such crimes seem more prevalent than they are. They may also portray individuals with mental illness in a way that reinforces stereotypes and contributes to the stigmatization of patients with mental illness, their families, and clinicians who care for these individuals, according to Peter F. Buckley, MD, dean of the Medical College of Georgia at the Georgia Health Sciences University in Augusta. Buckley moderated a panel about violence and schizophrenia at the American Psychiatric Association's annual meeting in Philadelphia in May.