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Government and the Mentally Ill

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What I'm saying regarding the medication part is that if a particular individual is up for probation of some sort, and it can be shown that so long as he stays on his medication he won't violate rights afterwards, then the probation officer can make that very clear to the offender -- that it is either further jail time or stay on the medication and be a free man.

On the one hand you say that mental illnesses do not cause an individual to commit a crime, to behave criminally, but on the other hand you support the idea of requiring an individual who has a mental illness and is up for probation, as a condition of probation, to take their medication IF "it can be shown that so long as he stays on his medication he won't violate rights afterwards."

Which is it? Either (some) mental illnesses cause individuals to behave criminally or they do not. If they do not, then it cannot "be shown that so long as he stays on his medication he won't violate rights afterwards."

However, I don't think those with mental disorders ought to be treated differently strictly based upon the fact that he had a mental illness. If he committed a rights violation crime, then he needs to be treated like a criminal. The only difference is when it comes to probation, similar to stipulations put on all criminals who are put on probation -- its just that the mentally ill person needs to show that he understands that part of his probation is that he needs to stay mentally healthy for a certain time period as he gets back on his feet.

You do and you don't think that those (criminals) with mental disorders ought to be treated differently strickly based upon the fact that they have, or had, a mental illness.

If mental illnesses do not cause criminal behavior, then such conditions on probation make as much sense are requiring, as a condition of probation, that a criminal who needs a root canal go have a root canal, and that he needs to stay orally healthy for a certain time period as he gets back on his feet.

Now, is this the same thing as forcing someone to take medications when they have not violated rights. No, it isn't. Under probation, the State can rightly impose restrictions and necessities of remaining on probation -- i.e. they have to hold a job, they have to check in with the probation officer periodically, etc. otherwise, they go back to jail. The criminal violated someone's rights, and if he gets the chance for a reduced sentence due to good behavior or he makes restitution somehow and gets probation, then he needs to follow the procedure or he is back in jail. That's all I'm saying.

The State doesn't have the right to impose arbitrary "restrictions and necessities of remaining on probation." Again, to require, as a condition of probation, that a person take his medication implies that there is a known and provable connection between their mental illness and their criminal behavior, a causal connection.

Of course requiring someone (criminal) on probation to take mediation is not the same thing as forcing someone (non-criminal) to take medications when they have not violated rights.

That wasn't what I challenged.

My point is that even giving someone the "choice" of medication versus jail is force, force in either "choice" they make. If they "choose" jail, they go to jail by force, not voluntarily. If they "choose" mediation, they will be forced to take medication, not voluntarily. If they "choose" medication, then you apparently do not have any problem with the state forcing, and ensuring by force (perhaps random drug testing), that certain mentally ill people take medication.

The government deals with criminals by force, properly so. Any conditions that the government puts on a criminal are forced, coerced, not voluntary. Else, I have a gross misunderstanding of voluntary, and the income tax is in fact voluntary. After all, one has a choice, pay your taxes or go to jail.

But even in jail, I'm not sure one could rightfully force an inmate to take medications against his will; primarily because of the known side effects that can be debilitating. Just because someone is locked up in jail doesn't mean that the State can do with him whatever it pleases.

Given what you've said, I really don't understand why you would be against such a thing. You say that mental illnesses do not cause criminal behavior, but your make other statements that imply that you do actually think that they do. And, you don't mind forcing a mentally ill criminal on probation to take mediations, so why not force an incarcerated mentally ill person to take medication?

I do not hold the view that mental illnesses have agency, that they cause criminal behavior, so in my view, they're not the concern of the government.

If, however, it were known that certain mental illnesses have agency and do in fact cause criminal behavior, then I think it would be appropriate for the government to force such a criminal to undergo treatment, including medication with known debilitating side effects, for the same reason that it is appropriate for the government to quarantine and treat those with serious and contagious diseases against the will of the individual who has the disease.

But perhaps I misunderstand you. Perhaps it's your view that chemical "straightjackets" or medications that basically tranquilize an individual into a drugged, lethargic stupor are a proper condition of probation for the mentally ill criminal because even though they do not treat or cure their non-crime-causing mental illness, the medications do act as a chemical form of general debilitation, making it near impossible for them to take any action, criminal or not, ensuring that they will not behave criminally.

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If the (or at least some) mentally ill are inherently a threat to others unless they are medicated, then it seems appropriate to have the government "kicking in doors and forcing pills down the throats of [such] mentally ill people."

How do you plan to determine who is an inherent threat? Are you going to trust the government to draw some arbitrary line?

EDIT: No one can guarantee you that you won't be hurt or injured by a mentally ill person. Even if the government were to immorally kick in doors and force feed meds to some mentally ill person who has not threatened anyone, it wouldn't guarantee your safety.

Edited by K-Mac
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How do you plan to determine who is an inherent threat? Are you going to trust the government to draw some arbitrary line?

EDIT: No one can guarantee you that you won't be hurt or injured by a mentally ill person. Even if the government were to immorally kick in doors and force feed meds to some mentally ill person who has not threatened anyone, it wouldn't guarantee your safety.

I do not plan to make such a determination. I do not hold the view that there are mental illnesses which cause individuals to be an inherent threat to the rights of others.

My point is that IF it were known that some mental illnesses did inherently cause criminal behavior (like a rabid wild animal that is aggressive and dangerous), then individuals with such mental illnesses would be a threat to the rights of others in a manner similar to the threat posed by individuals who have dangerous and contagious diseases.

If it's the proper function of the government to quarantine and treat individuals by force because they are an inherent threat to the rights of others by virtue of a dangerous and contagious disease, then the same would hold were there mental illnesses which inherently cause a person to be a threat to others.

As to how I'm "going to trust the government to draw some arbitrary line?," you could ask your same questions regarding trusting the government to draw some arbitrary line with respect to diseases which warrant quarantine. What is the answer in the case of dangerous and contagious diseases and quarantines?

As I see it, the government is dependent upon the advice of medical experts in the case of quarantines. The same would apply were there mental illnesses that are similar threats to the rights of others.

Edited by Trebor
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My point is that IF it were known that some mental illnesses did inherently cause criminal behavior...

Ah, okay. That's a huge IF that I must have missed.

As to how I'm "going to trust the government to draw some arbitrary line?," you could ask your same questions regarding trusting the government to draw some arbitrary line with respect to diseases which warrant quarantine. What is the answer in the case of dangerous and contagious diseases and quarantines?

As I see it, the government is dependent upon the advice of medical experts in the case of quarantines. The same would apply were there mental illnesses that are similar threats to the rights of others.

I've not given this a lot of thought. My initial thought is that it sounds like a "slippery slope" to give this function to government. It also reminds me of Rand's essay in PWNI, Establishing the Establishment (I think it was called.)

Perhaps the private sector could diagnose and refer people to voluntarily quarantine themselves at a private facility (or in their own homes, if appropriate), then if the person refuses, the situation would be elevated to the government?? Hmm, something to think about...

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I think we are talking past one another to some degree.

If someone was prone to violating individual rights, then the law could definitely keep an eye on them, regardless of their mental condition. In the special I saw, the medication for those with mental disorders was meant as a means of rehabilitation, not punishment. I don't think the law could tranquilize someone to the point that they are lethargic once they are released back into society. On the proper medication for a mental illness, one is not lethargic anyhow -- I mean, it is not as if the mentally ill is given tranquilizers to keep them subdued, except under conditions where they are a danger to others or themselves while undergoing treatment at a medical facility. Things have changed from the days when the mentally ill were locked up and straight jacketed and essentially discarded; as there are better medications and better techniques of getting them able to get back into the work force.

One might argue that rehabilitation is not the province of the government for those who have initiated force or violated individual rights; and in a capitalist society, that role would be undertaken by various businesses, rather than the state, anyhow. However, if it is known that someone cannot function properly without medication, then releasing them back into society without medication is almost asking for trouble. So, in these cases, the mentally ill inmate -- released or on probation -- is basically given a head start and enough medication to keep them thinking straight for a few weeks. Again, though, one might say the state ought not to be doing that, but I'm just presenting things the way they are for the mentally ill that are locked up due to violating the law.

I guess we could discuss whether or not probation is a type of force, but it is certainly much better for a person to be out of jail and learning how to re-integrate himself back into the workforce under supervision -- but again, this is for probation and not being free once one has done one's time. Once one is free, then the government has to treat that person like anyone else -- hands off until he violates individual rights.

My primary argument, however, in this thread, is that being mentally ill does not mean a necessity of violating rights; and so the government has no role to play until they do violate rights. And I certainly do not want the government to have the power to medicate by force whomever they think might be mentally ill by some dubious standard.

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The statistics showing only seven percent of individuals with serious mental illness going to jail or prison, every year, could be misleading. There are, I'm sure, various types of serious mental illness, and each particular illness has varying levels of severity. How many of those included in the category of serious mental illness can't even perform the most basic functions, and live their lives in mental hospitals; how many with mild to moderate schizophrenia, or even controlled schizophrenia have been lumped into the category? Another thing is that most of these illnesses, while may not be with an individual for their whole life--schizophrenia tends to become recognized near or after adulthood,--they are usually with the individual for most of their life; therefore, one year statistics for illnesses that are with someone for most of their life, seem fairly devoid of helpful information. For me to make an assessment based upon those statistics, I would have to know how they categorize and clean up the term serious mental illness; and because these illnesses affect a person for so long, the statistics for jailing need to be of a longer history. Another point of concern is how many people just go straight to the mental hospital, and do not get properly recorded for being arrested?

I knew someone for around eight years who had severe schizophrenia. When I knew her, she was mid-40's, and a very unhealthy person, not just mentally but physiologically and hygienically; although, even in this state, she managed to live alone, until the cops or mental health would arrive and put her in a mental hospital, which occurred frequently. This person was what I, as well as other people considered (family and family friends, her family), a ticking time bomb. Many times she would call family, and the police, to report that she was raped; she would tell family that she "new what you did, and can see the babies on the fence," and threaten some sort of action; etc... The last time she was put in a mental hospital was when she went to a restaurant parking lot, close to her residence, with a knife, and almost cut a teenagers throat. What did that get her? About a year in the mental hospital, and then released, without anyone (government) to insure that she was taking her medicine. The medicine which she either intentionally or unintentionally tried to counteract by consuming large doses of nicotine, caffeine, and sugar.

While I do not agree that those who have serious mental illness, who have not committed an act of aggression, be monitored by the government to insure proper medicating, those that have been processed through the legal system should be monitored and forced to medicate, or go back to prison (mental hospital the usual case). Maybe even a reviewing process could be implemented, where if someone becomes better, they no longer need to be monitored; this would probably be the case, as to free up the agents for new or more pertinent cases.

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Ah, okay. That's a huge IF that I must have missed.

Yes it is.

I've not given this a lot of thought. My initial thought is that it sounds like a "slippery slope" to give this function to government. It also reminds me of Rand's essay in PWNI, Establishing the Establishment (I think it was called.)

Perhaps the private sector could diagnose and refer people to voluntarily quarantine themselves at a private facility (or in their own homes, if appropriate), then if the person refuses, the situation would be elevated to the government?? Hmm, something to think about...

I think the critical issue is that of individual rights. That is the principle that properly delimits the function and nature of government, including with respect to issues such as dangerous and contagious physical or medical diseases and dangerous (to the rights of others; I do not think that "dangerous to self" is any of the government's business) mental illnesses, were there such things.

Principles, like chickens, come home to roost. I too am wary of slippery slopes. (Thank you for the reference; I'll look into rereading that article.)

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I knew someone for around eight years who had severe schizophrenia. When I knew her, she was mid-40's, and a very unhealthy person, not just mentally but physiologically and hygienically; although, even in this state, she managed to live alone, until the cops or mental health would arrive and put her in a mental hospital, which occurred frequently.

I agree with you that statistics don't tell the whole story, more details may have to be known to come to a conclusion about people with mental illnesses in general; but I also think you might be drawing a hasty generalization from the fact that you knew this one person who has schizophrenia and ran amuck on occasion. This is also a problem with newscast in that we hear on TV and Radio that so and so who is a schizophrenic committed such and such horrible act or disrupted someone else's life. Unfortunately, we don't often hear about the schizophrenics who recovered (for the most part) and went on to lead a productive life (whether or not staying on medication).

I would also wonder why it is that the police or the medics would be showing up at you person's house -- I mean, was she violating rights at all, or were they doing that "for her own good"? Certainly if she was indicating she was going to do things like attack people or threaten them, then this would have to be handled by the law. And was she working or was she on welfare? Many schizophrenics are able to go back to work, once they get the right treatment.

However, there is another side to this issue. As I have said before, medication cannot make one rational because being rational must be done volitionally. It is quite possible this woman was irrational and not just a schizophrenic. Being rational is very important to anyone, but more so for the mentally ill, because they need to keep control of their actions. And staying rational is certainly possible with the right medication, and the right self-training and professional guidance. Unfortunately, rationality is not taught these days, especially to the mentally ill, who are often just given medication and told to go on with their lives. Often they are told to turn to religion, which isn't going to help their situation. Some can do it on their own and some can't.

And it is utterly amazing how well a little pill can control schizophrenia, and there is ample scientific evidence to demonstrate this; so the pharmaceutical industry needs to be congratulated on doing such a good job to help these people. I have known several people who have had schizophrenia and they were not at all like the person you mentioned earlier. They were able to get their lives back together as best they could, and they didn't go around terrorizing the neighborhood.

Also, unfortunately, going into depression is often tandem with schizophrenia, and they might turn to caffeine or sugar to try to recover from that, not to counteract their medication. And new evidence has shown that nicotine actually helps schizophrenics. So, I don't think one can conclude that she was irrational because she smoked, drank cola, and ate candy.

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My primary argument, however, in this thread, is that being mentally ill does not mean a necessity of violating rights; and so the government has no role to play until they do violate rights. And I certainly do not want the government to have the power to medicate by force whomever they think might be mentally ill by some dubious standard.

With that, I'm in agreement. I am not certain, however, that you actually mean what you say, not consistently, and that's been my challenge.

Perhaps we are talking past one another some, but I do think we have a basic disagreement.

You say, and I agree, that mental illnesses do not cause criminal behavior, yet you keep referring to them as though they are relevant with respect to crime and government, as cause for crime. Not explicitly, implicitly.

You say that you think it's appropriate for the government to condition a mentally ill criminal's freedom (release from jail or avoidance of jail via probation) on their taking medication. The assumption is that their mental illness does in fact cause their criminal behavior, and that medications molify their illness as a cause for crime.

Would you think it appropriate for the government to condition an obese criminal's freedom on their losing weght and showing, over time, that they will keep their weight down? If not why not?

Because it's not a cause of their crime.

Then why suggest, in the face of stating that mental illnesses do not cause criminal behavior, that a mentally ill criminal's freedom should be conditioned upon their taking medication unless you think that their (and some) mental illnesses do in fact cause crime.?

If someone was prone to violating individual rights, then the law could definitely keep an eye on them, regardless of their mental condition. In the special I saw, the medication for those with mental disorders was meant as a means of rehabilitation, not punishment. I don't think the law could tranquilize someone to the point that they are lethargic once they are released back into society. On the proper medication for a mental illness, one is not lethargic anyhow -- I mean, it is not as if the mentally ill is given tranquilizers to keep them subdued, except under conditions where they are a danger to others or themselves while undergoing treatment at a medical facility. Things have changed from the days when the mentally ill were locked up and straight jacketed and essentially discarded; as there are better medications and better techniques of getting them able to get back into the work force.

So some people are "prone" to commiting crime (violating individual rights)? And, they can be identified? And, having been identified, the law should definitely keep an eye on them, regardless of their mental condition -- whether they're mentally ill and "prone" to commit crimes, or whether they're mentally healthy and "prone" to commit crimes?

Some claim that proverty increases the odds that someone will become a criminal, or even that poverty causes crime? Does that mean that poverty makes poor individuals prone to behaving criminally, that the law should keep an eye on them in anticipation of their eventual criminal activity?

I haven't investigated it, but my bet is that the statists weigh more heavily in favor of poverty as a cause of crime than mental illnesses as a cause for crime. Statistical correlations, however, are not causal identifications.

Being "prone" to criminal behavior seems a bit like skewed or biased free will (a contradiction) -- men have free will, but some men have free will but are prone to choose crime?

Perhaps you could explain and give some examples of people prone to crime, of what exactly you mean by their being prone to violate rights? Too, unless you're now saying that some mental illnesses do in fact cause criminal behavior, or make the persons "prone" to commit crimes, what's the relevance to this discussion?

By the way, it may well be the current standard that a "danger to self or others" warrants the governments concern with the mentally ill, but I disagree that danger to self is any of the government's business. Legally, individuals have, or should have, a right to go to hell in their own fashion.

You say that the "medication for those with mental disorders was meant as a means of rehabilitation, not punishment." (There has probably never been a profession full of more benevolence than psychiatry, well perhaps the Church.) But of course it was meant with good intentions. And if the recipient of such benevolence doesn't agree and doesn't want the medication, what's that, a symptom of his mental illness, further evidence of the need for medication, and indication of failed insight, and an indication of the need for forced medication to "keep them thinking straight for a few weeks"?

One might argue that rehabilitation is not the province of the government for those who have initiated force or violated individual rights; and in a capitalist society, that role would be undertaken by various businesses, rather than the state, anyhow. However, if it is known that someone cannot function properly without medication, then releasing them back into society without medication is almost asking for trouble. So, in these cases, the mentally ill inmate -- released or on probation -- is basically given a head start and enough medication to keep them thinking straight for a few weeks. Again, though, one might say the state ought not to be doing that, but I'm just presenting things the way they are for the mentally ill that are locked up due to violating the law.

Is it your view that there is an argument, that rehabilitation is perhaps the province of the government?

"...if it is known that someone cannot function properly without medication..."

The only relevant proper functioning of any individuals which is of any concern to the government is individual rights, specifically that the person not violate the rights of others.

I guess we could discuss whether or not probation is a type of force, but it is certainly much better for a person to be out of jail and learning how to re-integrate himself back into the workforce under supervision -- but again, this is for probation and not being free once one has done one's time. Once one is free, then the government has to treat that person like anyone else -- hands off until he violates individual rights.

You have some doubts as to whether or not probation is force? Seriously? Let's say, in your hypothetical choice given to some incarcerated mentally ill criminal, that, instead of choosing early release, or probation, on condition of taking medications, he chooses to stay in jail or go to jail. Is he then in jail voluntarily?

In your judgement it's always better for any individual to be out of jail and learning how to re-integrate himself back into the workforce under supervision? Seriously?

I remember one of Szasz's articles in which he pointedly states that many criminals much prefer jails to psychiatric hospitals and treatments. Perhaps they're aware of something you're not aware of?

I agree with this much. Until and unless an individual commits a crime, the government must respect their rights. Further, however, until and unless their mental illness is shown to cause their criminal behavior, then just as with their general physical health, it's none of the governments business. The government's sole proper function is the protection of individual rights.

Edited by Trebor
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I agree with this much. Until and unless an individual commits a crime, the government must respect their rights. Further, however, until and unless their mental illness is shown to cause their criminal behavior, then just as with their general physical health, it's none of the governments business. The government's sole proper function is the protection of individual rights.

I agree with this. And I'll leave it at that.

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I agree with you that statistics don't tell the whole story, more details may have to be known to come to a conclusion about people with mental illnesses in general; but I also think you might be drawing a hasty generalization from the fact that you knew this one person who has schizophrenia and ran amuck on occasion. This is also a problem with newscast in that we hear on TV and Radio that so and so who is a schizophrenic committed such and such horrible act or disrupted someone else's life. Unfortunately, we don't often hear about the schizophrenics who recovered (for the most part) and went on to lead a productive life (whether or not staying on medication).

True, I'm drawing a generalization based upon one person I knew, as well as things I've learned through different media; but that's how everyone's going to come to their conclusions on the subject, unless one has extensive experience or is a psychiatrist. I agree with you that there is mild schizophrenia and individuals who've controlled their illness, and I even spoke of varying degrees of the illness. Those with the illness on the more controlled side are probably not going to cause many problems (criminal), but if they do I think they should be monitored, as part of their punishment, to insure they're properly medicating. As for statistics, I ran across this: Criminal Offending in Schizophrenia Over a 25-Year Period Marked by Deinstitutionalization and Increasing Prevalence of Comorbid Substance Use Disorders, and a discussion of the study.

From the study:

In the study, the criminal records of 2,861 patients in five different cohorts based on year of first admission for schizophrenia—1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995—were compared with those of an equal number of comparison subjects matched for age, gender, and neighborhood of residence... Compared with the control subjects, the patients with schizophrenia accumulated a greater total number of criminal convictions (8,791 versus 1,119) and were significantly more likely to have been convicted (21.6 percent versus 7.8 percent). They were also more likely to have been convicted of an offense involving violence (8.2 percent versus 1.8 percent).

The study shows that criminal acts are higher in the schizophrenic group, but doesn't pinpoint why. One opinion by Edward Mulvey, Ph.D:

"I have never been convinced that active symptomatology is the only component of the relationship between schizophrenia and violence," he told Psychiatric News. "The idea that people with schizophrenia are at increased risk for involvement in violence has been out there for a while and is not disputed. What is disputed is the reason for that relationship. The idea that active symptomatology is the only reasonable explanation is probably simplistic, and this study demonstrates that."

I would also wonder why it is that the police or the medics would be showing up at you person's house -- I mean, was she violating rights at all, or were they doing that "for her own good"? Certainly if she was indicating she was going to do things like attack people or threaten them, then this would have to be handled by the law. And was she working or was she on welfare? Many schizophrenics are able to go back to work, once they get the right treatment.

Most of the time she would call the police herself to report some incident against herself, and then threaten the police. Other times she would go off on random people. She didn't work due to a wealthy family, and in the state she was in she couldn't have held a job.

Also, unfortunately, going into depression is often tandem with schizophrenia, and they might turn to caffeine or sugar to try to recover from that, not to counteract their medication. And new evidence has shown that nicotine actually helps schizophrenics. So, I don't think one can conclude that she was irrational because she smoked, drank cola, and ate candy.

She wasn't irrational because she smoked (and used nicotine patches while smoking), drank cola, and ate candy; her schizophrenic behavior became more active while consuming these things. The medication she was on was very potent, and some of it I'm sure must have had a tranquilizing or depressing effect.

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The study shows that criminal acts are higher in the schizophrenic group, but doesn't pinpoint why.

I'll have to read those studies, so thanks for finding them. One thing, however, about criminality these days is that things like drug abuse are considered crimes while they shouldn't be so considered, and many people having mental disorders try to self-medicate while having their illness. Part of a rational discipline for someone with this disorder would be to be aware that illicit drugs will not help them; and that emotions are not tools of cognition.

The brain of a schizophrenic tends to be overly reactive to stimuli due to too much dopamine production, and I suppose that excessive sugar intake could exacerbate the problem. It is also known that the correct medical dosage must be reached to be effective -- and too much can certainly incapacitate a person, since it will act as a tranquilizer cutting off dopamine too much.

Regarding the violence, which would be a real crime, certainly this is something that needs to be watched out for. It may well be that they do not recognize that they are over-reacting to stimuli, and training for this is not easy to come by. For proper treatment, some psychological assessment and therapy should be done, but psychiatrist don't always recommend that.

As you mentioned from that study, schizophrenia is one of those illnesses that is not well understood. Often, it is difficult even for the professionals to decide what is neurological malfunction and what is psychological malfunction, and they don't even get into the problems of having an irrational philosophy. Most people take for granted that what is in their heads is what is real, when that is not always the case -- in other words they can be primacy of consciousness, especially with an illness like schizophrenia were the mind overly reacts to stimuli anyhow and needs to be self-watched rationally by having a primary focus on reality.

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I'll have to read those studies, so thanks for finding them. One thing, however, about criminality these days is that things like drug abuse are considered crimes while they shouldn't be so considered, and many people having mental disorders try to self-medicate while having their illness. Part of a rational discipline for someone with this disorder would be to be aware that illicit drugs will not help them; and that emotions are not tools of cognition.

Something I was also thinking about, concerning the convictions aspect, is how many of these schizophrenics were convicted due to the stigma against them? Obviously that's going to be near impossible to prove, but I wouldn't find it too unbelievable.

As you mentioned from that study, schizophrenia is one of those illnesses that is not well understood. Often, it is difficult even for the professionals to decide what is neurological malfunction and what is psychological malfunction, and they don't even get into the problems of having an irrational philosophy. Most people take for granted that what is in their heads is what is real, when that is not always the case -- in other words they can be primacy of consciousness, especially with an illness like schizophrenia were the mind overly reacts to stimuli anyhow and needs to be self-watched rationally by having a primary focus on reality.

The person I was writing about definitely did not have their problems of irrational philosophy addressed. She had a slight preoccupation with many things religious and reading the bible. Sometimes she would say things to me, giving some sort of religious advice or warning, and I would just acknowledge that I was listening to her, not wanting to say something that may start her going off the deep end.

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That was a very interesting study, and they were studious in the sense of saying they didn't identify the cause of the criminal behavior, but only the statistical correlations. One thing that definitely follows from the study is that if one has a mental disorder, then that person should not be doing illicit drugs, as these tend to decrease self-control.

"Had the study been confined to subjects recruited after 1990, it is likely that the conclusion reached would have been that patients with schizophrenia but no substance abuse problem were no more likely to offend than the general population. Such findings are occasionally interpreted to mean that it is the substance abuse—not the schizophrenia—that is associated with higher rates of offending. Such a separation would be justified only if they were truly independent variables. Having schizophrenia, however, is associated with increased rates of substance abuse."

The thing is that having a mental disorder is very confusing to that person, and some kind of relief is sought -- leading some to turn to drugs or alcohol, just as some of the general population turns to drugs or alcohol in an attempt to relief their own inner confusions. However, this is only a temporary relief and it doesn't solve the fundamental problem, which would require a lot of introspection, rationality, and primacy of existence approach to resolve inner confusion.

To answer one thing Trebor brought up, I wasn't trying to say that some people have a tendency towards violence due to some hardwiring in their brains, but rather such actions are due to a psycho-epistemology of non-reason. One's psycho-epistemology can be changed, but it takes a lot of rational effort to do so.

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