Recently, researchers have been keen understanding the relationship between Schizophrenia, substance abuses, and violent criminal behavior. According to the majority of these latest research studies, suicide is one of the most common criminal activity associated with Schizophrenia. History of past violence is another common predictor of violent crime associated with Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia patients with a rich history of violence are likely to commit crimes such as rape and murder. Schizophrenia patient is also highly likely to engage in substance and alcohol abuse. They abuse drugs and misuse alcohol because of the mental illness that affects their ability to think and reason accurately. This means that the more the patient engages in drug and alcohol abuse, the higher the chances of committing crimes. Furthermore, it is imperative to note that Schizophrenia patient’s failure to take medication increases their chances of engaging in crime. This is mainly because, without medication, the symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions worsens. The cognitive ability of the patient is also adversely affected. As a result, they are likely to make ineffective decisions like engaging in criminal activities. The purpose of this essay is to explore the connection between Schizophrenia and Crime.
The Connection between Schizophrenia and Crime
According to an Australian study, Schizophrenia patient is three times likely to commit crimes as compared to an individual who is not suffering from any mental illness. Secondly, approximately 8.2% of Schizophrenia patients have been convicted of violent crimes. The main reason for the cognition between Schizophrenia and crime is that the disorder adversely affects the individual’s cognition (Keers et al. 2014). In normal circumstances, Schizophrenia patient acts like a normal person. However, if the disorder is not treated early, it can have tremendous implications for the patient’s life.
Schizophrenia adversely affects the patient’s cognitive ability. One of the most common symptoms of Schizophrenia is a dysfunctional way of thinking. In most cases, Schizophrenia patients are considered to be with ineffective executive functioning. In such situations, the patient has difficulty comprehending the information they are presented. As a result, they make ineffective decisions due to poor interpretation of such information. The patient’s memory is also adversely affected (Rund, 2018). This means that they are easy to forget. Schizophrenia patients also encounter challenges pay attention. For instance, when they are told that criminal activities attract punishment, they easily forget. Even if they are warned, they easily engage in criminal activities without their wish. Thus, to avoid such situations, it is imperative to encourage Schizophrenia to seek treatment as soon as possible.
Cognitive impairment as a result of the disorder can affect various aspects of the patient’s life. In most cases, Schizophrenia patients are unable to engage in normal daily activities. Some of them withdraw from the society. This is mainly because they are unable to relate and interact with others including family and friends. Thus, when faced with challenges, most of them will resort to violence and criminal activities. Lack of effective communication skills affects their ability to express themselves (Keers et al. 2014). Therefore, if untreated, they will end up engaging in criminal activities such as suicide.
Moreover, Schizophrenia patients are unable to engage in intellectual activities and tasks. Instead of reading a book, such a patient often glares on the pages without reading or concentrating. When watching, they can glare on the screen without following or understanding what is going on at all. Their ability to perceive instructions is also affected. For instance, if they are taught to be discipline, they will forget and still engage in undesirable behaviors (Fleischman et al., 2014). This is so because the disorder affects the patient’s short memory, concentration, and executive function.
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