The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is doing a series on mental disorders. And they're starting out right in the midst of the controversy. As the father of a teenager with mental "problems", I try to look at all sides. I'm sticking with, "Sorry, everything is on the table".
The bottom line: After excluding people with substance abuse problems, only 7 percent of those with a serious mental illness -- schizophrenia, depression or bipolar disease -- had committed acts of violence, from shoving someone to shooting someone. But among the rest of the population, that rate was just 2 percent.
So, Dr. Swanson concluded, it all depends on how you describe it.Mysteries of the Mind
"The vast majority of people with mental illness are not violent," he said, "but you could take the same study and say people with mental illness are three times more likely to commit a violent act than others are."