Are patients with schizophrenia at increased risk for violence?

Updated: Mar 16, 2018
  • Author: Frances R Frankenburg, MD; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Answer

Most people with schizophrenia are not violent. However, a few may act violently, sometimes as a result of command hallucinations or delusions. [66] Because the violent acts carried out by these few patients may be unpredictable and bizarre, they are often highly publicized, and the intense publicity has the unfortunate consequence of exacerbating the stigma of the disease.

Violence may be associated with substance abuse. However, the rate of violence in patients with schizophrenia who do not abuse substances is higher than that in people without schizophrenia. [71, 72] Clozapine is sometimes recommended for treatment of patients with schizophrenia who are violent.


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