Schizophrenia: Warning Signs of Violence

Topic Overview

While most people with schizophrenia are not violent, violence is one of the reasons someone who has schizophrenia may need hospitalization. It is a way to protect the person or those around him or her until thedelusionsorhallucinationsoften associated with the violence pass.

Common signs that can indicate someone with schizophrenia may become violent include:

  • Talking about violence, especially when directed toward specific people or groups of people (such as past coworkers) or places, such as churches or government buildings.
  • Talking, writing, or drawing about death and violence.
  • Having unexplained mood changes or behaving aggressively or violently. Aggressive acts may include teasing and taunting other people by calling them names; threatening, making fun of, or playing mind games with other people; or making threatening phone calls.
  • Buying or talking about having weapons or other means, such as poisons, that could hurt or kill people.
  • Not taking responsibility for his or her actions or saying that the actions are justified because of how he or she has been treated.
  • Drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs more frequently.
  • Increased fears of other people (paranoia).
  • Telling someone that he or she hears voices telling him or her to hurt or kill another person.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerChristine R. Maldonado, PhD - Behavioral Health

Current as ofDecember 7, 2017