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How Mental Illness Can Contribute to Physical Abuse

Physical abuse does not happen in a vacuum. Though physically harming another person is never an acceptable response, mental illness can trigger emotions and thought processes that make someone more prone to psychological, emotional, and even physical aggression.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline recognizes that conditions like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and other mental health disturbances can contribute to instances of physical abuse. If you’re facing an allegation of abuse, it’s vital that the court understands how mental illness may have driven your behavior.

How Mental Health Problems Contribute to Physical Abuse

The journal Archives of General Psychiatry found that people suffering from mental illness showed higher instances of violence. Explanations for this finding include:

  • An association between mental illness and violent behavior
  • An association between mental illness and substance abuse, which can cause loss of control and exacerbate violent impulses 
  • The tendency for mentally ill individuals to perceive threats more readily, which may cause them to act in self-defense—even when there is no actual threat
  • Mental illness’ tendency to destabilize one’s life, which may make the person more prone to unpredictability and violent behaviors

Countless Indianans who have mental illness never act violently. However, those who do act violently must be viewed through the lens of their mental illness. 

Every Detail Matters in a Physical Abuse Case, Including the Defendant’s Mental State

Mental health struggles can obscure our true nature and personality. A bout with severe depression, for example, may lead an otherwise peaceful person to unload their misery on another person. An individual with bipolar disorder may exhibit behaviors that are truly beyond their control—including behaviors that endanger others.

While nobody deserves to be the victim of physical or psychological abuse, every detail matters when someone faces a formal abuse charge. Our attorneys will ensure that prosecutors and judges get the whole story and that you get a capable defense.  

Call Razumich & Associates today at (317) 449-8661 for a consultation, or contact us online using this simple submission form.

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