IntroductionRecently behaver but what kind of connection? The

IntroductionRecently
crime has been increasingly blamed on mental illness only, there are many
examples of this on the news that blames crimes and criminal behavior on mental
illness such as Stephen paddock, the man who committed a mass shooting in Las
Vegas on October 1 2017, (Thomas, 2017) has been portrayed as a mentally ill
person that committed a serious crime and the news justifies his crime due to
his mental illness just because they don’t know his actual motive behind this
horrific act. Mental health is determined as “state of well-being in which
every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal
stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a
contribution to her or his community.” as stated by the World Health
Organization (Mental health: a state of well-being, 2014). Mental illness is
defined as any Dysfunctional behavior that impacts the way a man or a woman
considers thinks, feels, acts, as well as how they identify with others and to
his or her environment.(Goldberg, 2012). “Criminal behavior” is
defined as way in which a person acts which causes harm to people in Society
either physically or mentally, damaging property and general violence towards
others which is against societal norms and this behaviors are acts of breaking
the law which is set by the government to protect people in society (What is
the Definition of Criminal Behavior?, 2017).Prisons
and jails are the new asylums as many serious mental illnesses have become
widely spread in these facilities. According to the national alliance on mental
illness at least 400,000 prisoners suffer from some type of mental illness
currently in the US, to show the magnitude of this the amount of people with
mental illness in prisons are more than the population of New Orleans or
Cleveland. Furthermore around 40% of People with mental illness in the US will
be incarcerated or jailed at least once in their life, stated by NAMI (Ford,
2015). This percentage is incredibly high which show that there is some kind of
connection between mental illness and criminal behaver but what kind of
connection? The
purpose of this paper is to see if criminal behavior is caused by mental
illness. The rest of this paper will be organized as follows: The first section
is mental illness and violence, which answers are the mentally ill violent, the
second section discusses mental illness and substance abuse and which one is
the actual contributor to violent behavior, the third section is mental illness
and the public which explains how the public portrays mentally ill people and
the final section discusses mental illness and available treatment for mental
ill patients and how it could lead some violent behavior.Is there a link between
mental health and criminal behavior?  Mental illness and violence              Many think
that people with mental illness are violent. This is due to how people with
mental illness are portrayed in television platforms like TV series, movies,
games and even the news often tell us over exaggerated, fake and highly
stigmatizing stories.  There are many
movies that depict mental illnesses negatively, an example of this is the movie
Psycho, Psycho is a horror movie that represents the mental disorder dissociative
identity disorder (DID) in a negative way, as the character is a sociopath that
commits severe crimes through violent behavior (boll, 2015).This movie portrays
a person with DID to be a “psycho”. Other movie examples that depicts
mental disorders negatively are The Visit, Black Swan and Silver Linings
Playbook.               Even though many people suffering from
mental illness are  more prone to  violent 
behavior A small minority of them actually commit  violent behavior, According to  research from 
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, even though less
than  five percent of violent
behavior  is associated with  mental illness in  America 
the study  found that about  4 out of 10 of news stories that were  analyzed 
the research associate mental illness with violence. In their
investigation they analyzed media trends over the period of 20 years which
ended  in 2014.They studied  400 stories about mental illness from top
level news outlets that have a large audience from  US, and they found out that the most common
topic was violence  which was about 55%
throughout this study period, furthermore  
there has been an 18% increase in new stories connecting violence with
mental illness in from 2005 to 2014 compared to 1% from new stories from 1994
to 2005 (Benham,2016).This study highlights the stigma that the news creates
about mental illness.         Many TV shows portray the people with a
mental illness as the villains or the criminal there has been many studies done
on how characters with mental illness are represented in this medium. Alicia
Oostdyk reviewed studies to investigate the representation of mental Illness on
television and one of the studies  in his
research analyzed four prim TV networks 
which are ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX and found that 33.9% of characters with
mental illness are  presented as violent
which is noticeably higher than the US criminal rate which is 1.5%(Oostdyk,2005).
As a result, this may affect the viewer’s opinions on mental Illness and its
causes. Furthermore from the mental health reporting fact sheet states that the
connection between violence and mental illness is encouraged by the
entertainment and news media, personas on prime time TV that have mental
illnesses are depicted “as the most dangerous of all demographic groups:
60 percent were shown to be involved in crime or violence”(Facts About Mental
Illness and Violence). This significant amount can affect the average person
who watches TV few times a week and this would definitely affect the views
opinion without them knowing.   Most
mentally ill people are not violent, TV and entertainment platforms give a
wrong portrayal of mental illness to add a drama or horror effect to their
show/movie however this gives the view a picture of how mental illness looks
like, and assume that it is true. Mental illness and substance abuse  Substance abuse tends to be a major contributor
to violence and criminal behavior in mentally ill patients, because people with
severe mental disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar who are violent are dependent
on substances like alcohol and drugs. For these patients alcohol and drugs are
used to self-medicate their symptoms which helps them feel better in and is a
temporary solution (Drugs & mental illness fact sheet, 2017). For example,
patients who have schizophrenia take medication for hallucinations that causes
depression. The patients often smoke marijuana to deal with the depression.
reported by The United States Department of Veterans Affairs more  2 out of 10 veterans who suffer from
post-traumatic stress disorder simultaneously have a substance abuse
disorder(PTSD: National Center for PTSD,2011).  When having a mental illness and
self-medicating through drugs and alcohol it is highly possible to develop
substance abuse issues. According to dualdiagnosis.org Self-medication is the
link between mental illness and substance abuse (The Connection Between Mental
Illness and Substance Abuse). According to a study about the link between
Schizophrenia substance abuse and violent crimes  found that 72 % of patients with
schizophrenia that were  linked to
substance abuse  committed an offence ,
whereas schizophrenia patients without substance abuse, the risk was
small(Fazel,Långström,& Hjern, 2009). This show that substance abuse while
having a mental illness plays a big part in violence, therefore for these
patients the risk of committing a crime is very high. Furthermore  a similar research was conducted about
bipolar and  substance abuse to violent
behavior had similar results to the previous study where the patients who
simultaneously  abuse substances had a
higher risks of committing violent crime on the other hand risk of violence was
minute in patients who didn’t abuse substance like alcohol and drugs (Fazel,
Lichtenstein and  Grann , 2010).This
shows that substance abuse is a common factor when it comes to mental illness
and violence,  because different types of
mental disorders are  negatively affected
behaviorally when the patient abuses drugs and alcohol. This
confirms that substances like alcohol and drugs have a huge negative effect on
the behavior of people with mental illness and people without it, just because
it’s more likely for a person with a mental disorder to use drugs and alcohol
for self-medication and abuse it, which makes them more likely to commit
violent criminal acts. Mental illness and the public  Many people assume that people with mental
disorders are a threat to society, this is because there is not enough
awareness about mental illness therefore there is a stigma about it. There is a
huge public awareness on how to prevent and deal with physical Health problems
some examples of these diseases are cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity,
and arthritis. Do to the high exposure of these physical illnesses many people
in the public have a considerable amount of knowledge of treatments and
services available. For example Hypertension, there is a widespread knowledge
about modifiable risk factors like being overweight or obese, increased stress
and smoking (High blood pressure (hypertension), 2016),as well as ways to
prevent it by living a healthy lifestyle for example exercising and eating a
balanced diet, as well monitoring  your
blood pressure  and cutting back on
salt(McCoy,2016). Also many people have the first aid skills to apply
resuscitation in an emergency, and some would know the warning signs of a
stroke and know when need to call an ambulance.      Comparing the knowledge that could be
found about physical illnesses and mental illnesses there is a huge gap. Even
though mental illnesses are widespread and is very common, it is ignored and
there is a strong social stigma attached to mental health. Which combined with
the media influence creates a stigma about mental illness, as a result people
have a negative connotation with mental illness. A study on American attitudes
on mental health from 1950 to 1996, most Americans describe the mentally ill as
violent and dangerous (Facts About Mental Illness and Violence). Moreover an
article from the Huffington Post about the public attitudes towards mental
illness state that a large amount of people feel uncomfortable working with a
person with mental illness similarly parents do not want to have a person with
mental illness working in their child’s school (Weldon, 2015). The public’s
perception of people with mental illness is incorrect, and the lack of
information provided about mental illness causes a huge stigmatization and
discrimination towards people with mental illness, because the majority of the
public think that people with mental illness are violent and this affects them
in their day-to-day life as they cannot get jobs, good housing and are not
included in main stream society. This discrimination can worsen the condition
and cause them to commit suicide.  Mental
illness and available treatment Government figures tend to neglect mental
health treatments, because it does not seem worthy or important as other health
problems like diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and obesity to
include mental health treatment in the state budget for treatment, even though
mental health is just as important.     Very often people with mental illnesses do
not get the care they need at all. According to an article talking about the
neglect of mental health System says that Robert Glover who is the Director of
the National Association of State Mental Health Program Said from 2009 to 2012,
there was a cut of $5 billion in health resources, in this time 4,500 public
psychiatric hospital beds were removed from hospitals (Szabo, 2013).More over
the cost of mental health treatment is very expensive and it is very difficult
for a person with mental health to get the needed treatment. People with  mental health disabilities have a difficulty
sustaining a job yet mental illnesses does not qualify as a form of disability,
so their insurance company does not cover mental illness therefore they have to
pay for their treatment  themselves(The
Neglect of Mental Illness Exacts a Huge Toll, Human and Economic, 2012)(20).
And to  further show how mental health
treatment is unaffordable, results on mental health findings from the National
Survey on Drug Use and Health found that among the 5 .4 million adults  suffering from a mental disease  and did not get any treatment, 45.7% said
that they could not  afford the cost of
care(Rockville,2013). This shows that mental health treatment is very important
and should be affordable for people of all classes because mental health
illnesses affect people from all classes.The government’s
neglect of mental health treatment has a negative effect due to the reduction
of mental health facilities which does more harm than good because it causes more
and more mentally ill patients to develop violent and criminal behavior in
order to afford the payment for their treatment.Conclusion The research paper shows that mental illness is
not a direct cause of criminal behavior. Mentally ill people have
been portrayed negatively in media platforms and are associated with
violence which stigmatizes mental illness however mental illness does not
course violence. Moreover substance abuse is a major attributer to violence and
criminal behavior in mental ill patients because it affects them in an adverse
way. Furthermore the lack of public awareness about mental illness gives an
inaccurate generalizations about the mentally ill which makes the mentally ill
feel left out is they are miss treated because of this generalization. Finally
the lack of availability of mental health treatments and institutions
negatively affect the mentally sick by making them develop criminal behavior
to get there treatment.  

One possible field for further
research would be to investigate the relationships that people with mental
illness have and social exchanges that lead up the violence.(SE,JW,WS,M and M,
1998).