Relationship of crimes with depression
The connection between depression and crime has not been studied as well as the connection between schizophrenia and crime. According to the survey of the Office of National Statistics on mental disorders in prisons, schizophrenia and delusional disorders are more common than affective disorders.
Depression and mania can directly lead to the commission of a crime. And although as a result of an affective disorder any type of crime can be committed, nevertheless there are a number of well-known associations:
Depression and Murder
Severe depression can cause the subject to think about hopelessness of existence, about the absence of a goal in life and, consequently, the only way out is death. In some cases, homicide may be followed by suicide. In different studies, the levels of suicide after committing homicidal vary. According to West, a significant proportion of suicides are associated with abnormal mental state of subjects, and depressions play an important role here.
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Depression and Infanticide
In such cases, killing a child can be directly related to delusions or hallucinations. On the other hand, the act of violence can be a consequence of irritability due to affective disorder.
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Depression and theft
In severe depression, there are several possible links with theft:
- Theft can be a regressive action, an act that brings peace;
- theft can be an attempt to draw attention to the subject's unhappiness;
- this act may not be a real theft, but a manifestation of absent-mindedness with an unconsolidated state of consciousness.
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Depression and arson
In this association arson can be an attempt to destroy something in connection with a sense of hopelessness and despair, or arson can, due to its destructive effect, alleviate the state of tension and dysphoria of the subject.
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Depression, alcoholism and crime
Long-term alcohol abuse can cause feelings of depression or depression can lead to alcohol abuse. The disinhibitory combination of alcohol and depression can then lead to the commission of a crime, including crimes of a sexual nature.
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Depression and an explosive personality
People who suffer from personality disorders are often less able to cope with their own states of depression. Following the stress that has arisen in connection with the discomfort caused by depression, there may be outbreaks of violence or manifestations of destructive behavior.
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Depression and juvenile offenders
In this association depression can be disguised. Externally, there may be features of theatricality in behavior, as well as manifestations of behavioral disorders, expressed, for example, in constant theft. In the past, there is usually a history of normal behavior and the absence of personality abnormalities.
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Depression facilitated by crime
Some authors pay attention to the phenomenon of depression and tension, which are facilitated through the commission of an act of violence. The history of depression can be traced to the perfect criminal act, and then the subject of depression is lost. From the clinical point of view, this is most often observed in subjects with personality disorders.
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Manic conditions and crimes
In mania, the patient may experience ecstasy with hallucinations or delirium grandeur, which can lead to the commission of a crime. The combination of weak criticism to one's own condition and substance abuse can lead to behaviors that violate social norms.
Medico-legal aspects of depression
Large mood disorders are the basis for applying protection due to psychiatric illness and making psychiatric recommendations. In severe cases, especially with mania, the disorder can be so severe that the subject is unable to participate in the trial. In cases of murder, an adequate measure is a statement of reduced liability, and in the event of the presence of delirium and hallucinations, the subject may fall under the McNoten Rules. Which hospital will take the patient depends on the degree of violence, the willingness to cooperate with therapists and the determination to repeat what was done before.