Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bipolar disorder does not increase risk of violent crime, Swedish study suggests

Date:
September 8, 2010
Source:
Karolinska Institutet
Summary:
A new study from Sweden suggests that bipolar disorder -- or manic-depressive disorder -- does not increase the risk of committing violent crime. Instead, the over-representation of individuals with bipolar disorder in violent crime statistics is almost entirely attributable to concurrent substance abuse.

A new study from Sweden's Karolinska Institutet suggests that bipolar disorder -- or manic-depressive disorder -- does not increase the risk of committing violent crime. Instead, the over-representation of individuals with bipolar disorder in violent crime statistics is almost entirely attributable to concurrent substance abuse.

The public debate on violent crime usually assumes that violence in the mentally ill is a direct result of the perpetrator's illness. Previous research has also suggested that patients with bipolar disorder -- also known as manic-depressive disorder -- are more likely to behave violently. However, it has been unclear if the violence is due to the bipolar disorder per se, or caused by other aspects of the individual's personality or lifestyle.

The new study, carried out by researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Oxford University, is presented in the scientific journal Archives of General Psychiatry. Researchers compared the rate of violent crime in over 3,700 patients with bipolar disorder cared for in Swedish hospitals between 1973 and 2004 with that of 37,000 control individuals from the general public.

21% of patients with bipolar disorder and a concurrent diagnosis of severe substance abuse (alcohol or illegal drugs) were convicted of violent crimes, compared to 5% of those with bipolar disorder but without substance abuse, and 3% among general public control individuals. The differences remained when accounting for age, gender, immigrant background, socio-economic status, and whether the most recent presentation of the bipolar disorder was manic or depressed.

"Interestingly, this concurs with our group's previous findings in schizophrenia, another serious psychiatric disorder, which found that individuals with schizophrenia are not more violent than members of the general public, provided there is no substance abuse," says professor Niklas Långström, head of the Centre for Violence Prevention at Karolinska Institutet, and one of the researchers behind the study.

According to the researchers, the findings support the need for initiatives to prevent, identify and treat substance abuse when fighting violent crime. Additionally, Långström hopes that the results will help challenge overly simplistic explanations of the causes of violent crime.

"Unwarranted fear and stigmatisation of mental illness increases the alienation of people with psychiatric disorder and makes them less inclined to seek the care they need," Långström comments.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Karolinska Institutet. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. Fazel, P. Lichtenstein, M. Grann, G. M. Goodwin, N. Langstrom. Bipolar Disorder and Violent Crime: New Evidence From Population-Based Longitudinal Studies and Systematic Review. Archives of General Psychiatry, 2010; 67 (9): 931 DOI: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2010.97

Cite This Page:

Karolinska Institutet. "Bipolar disorder does not increase risk of violent crime, Swedish study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100907103613.htm>.
Karolinska Institutet. (2010, September 8). Bipolar disorder does not increase risk of violent crime, Swedish study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100907103613.htm
Karolinska Institutet. "Bipolar disorder does not increase risk of violent crime, Swedish study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100907103613.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) — The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) — A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) — In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) — A study for University College London suggests obese people who are discriminated against gain more weight than those who are not. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:  

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile iPhone Android Web
      Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins