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Is there a link between depression and violence?

On Behalf of | Oct 24, 2022 | Criminal |

Many residents of New Jersey suffer from depression. While some seek help and are able to keep their mental health condition under control, others might not be so lucky. A study explores whether there’s a link between depression and violence.

Understanding depression

Depression is one of the most widespread mental health conditions. It has a variety of symptoms such as fatigue, sadness, dark thoughts, aches and pains, sleeping problems and irritability. Some people struggling with depression may also have suicidal thoughts and actions.

Depression is not often associated with violence, but mental health conditions often develop as a result of issues that carry the risk of it. Trauma, drug or alcohol addiction and different types of abuse could be precursors to depression.

Study looks into link between depression and violence

Researchers in Sweden studied more than 47,000 people with depression to determine whether there is a link between the condition and violence. The researchers explored the individuals’ criminal records and compared the findings to those of nearly 900,000 people with no history of depression. Subjects were divided by age and gender. The researchers saw that people suffering from depression were three times more likely to commit violent crimes than those from the non-depressed group.

The study also determined that people with depression were less likely to commit violent crimes than individuals with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Their rate of violence was shown to be much lower than that of individuals struggling with drug or alcohol abuse.

The study concluded that anger is the link between depression and violence. People with depression experience myriad emotions; anger is one of them, but it’s often overlooked. Depression is usually associated with sadness, but a person could lash out with aggression and violence.

Most people with depression are more of a danger to themselves than to others. A person’s history and background might show whether they have a higher risk of violence.