What Is The Relationship Between Depression And Violence?

Question: What is the relationship between depression and violence?

Answer: The relationship between depression and violence is relatively poorly studied. But the major fact of the matter is that depressed patients by and large are not at risk for violence. Most psychiatric patients who commit violence are patients who are psychotic and only a small number of depressed patients are psychotic.

Depressed patients do, however, oftentimes have a set of symptoms called anger attacks in which they will in fact show anger outbursts. But this rarely is associated with violence and it's not something that I worry about in the depressed population. It is something I worry about in patients with schizophrenia and in patients with bipolar disorder where outbreaks of violence are much more common.

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