Violence and Depression

Posted on 25th March 2015 | Category: CBT

Scientists in Sweden have recently conducted studies that link violent behaviour to depression. I would argue that depression is one of a number of psychological symptoms that can be displayed by violent individuals, however it is unlikely to seed aggressive behaviour due to the fact that some of the key indicators of aggression are inactivity and even apathy.

In my experience people who are suffering from depression actually lack motivation, withdraw from social activity of any kind and in extreme cases cannot get out of bed. This is not the model of an individual that is predisposed towards violent behaviour, but rather one of someone who is looking to withdraw from the world and isolate themselves from any kind of stressful or negative interaction, such as the explosive and extreme behaviour associated with any kind of aggression.

The study does not look at other social factors that could well play a part in the violent behaviour of certain individuals. In many cases alcohol or other drugs could well play a part in such outbursts. Whilst there may be an argument that depressed individuals are more susceptible to substance abuse this survey does not seem to factor in alcoholism, which is a renowned social problem within Sweden, into account.
It could be more likely that the violent behaviour comes from an individual’s low self-esteem issues. When this is coupled with low intelligence this can be a recipe for criminal and aggressive types of behaviour. This is not the model of a person who has lost the ability to have enough organisation to deal with the structure of day to day life.

Many of those that take part in aggressive and violent behaviour also have problems within their backgrounds. Influences such as poverty, deprivation and criminal family. Depressive individuals on the other hand simply feel that they cannot face the world and that they are often driven by guilt or regret over things that they may have or have not done. Looking at the counter example of low self-esteem, certain individuals make like to be the centre of attention to feel good about themselves – this can spill over into aggressive or even violent behaviour when under pressure.

If you think that you might be suffering from depression or if you are prone to aggressive or even violent behaviour then it is possible that CBT could help you. Whatever the cause of your psychological malady, together we can look at alternative strategies and goals that can help you find new ways to deal with old problems.

The first step is to book a free consultation appointment. This will allow us to go through your current situation in a relaxed and easy setting where we can discuss the best options available for you to move forward with your life.