For quite some time, it has been part of the public narrative that mass shootings largely stem from the individual committing the shooting experiencing psychiatric illness, particularly schizophrenia. A new study has been recently published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology titled, ‘Domestic Mass Shooters: The Association with Unmedicated and Untreated Psychiatric Illness’ (link below). We found many issues with this study, which we discuss in this video. We also discuss the harmful ways in which this study has been picked up in the media.
It is important to understand that while untreated mental illness may play a role in violent crimes such as mass shootings, this type of violence and mass shootings are a product of our culture and society. We shed light on the fact that sex and race and access to guns were even larger predictors of mass shootings. Also the inherent component of alienation and disillusionment from societal groups.
That aside, if we consider that yes, untreated mental illness can also play a role in this type of violent crime, society NEEDS to do a better job of supporting people with psychosis spectrum illnesses. There is a greater message here in the importance of reducing stigma (which this study certainly does not do) and increasing public education. Increased stigma will likely only serve to increase the number of psychosis related mass shootings, due to further public alienation or disillusionment, and decreased access to treatment and supports.
‘Domestic Mass Shooters: The Association with Unmedicated and Untreated Psychiatric Illness’ article link:
Mother Jones Database on Mass Shootings:
We have reached out to the lead author, Dr. Ira Glick, and we will post any statement or response he has here in this description.
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