Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Changes in Specific Gene May Up Risk of Some Mental Illnesses

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today. "In a new study, brain scans reveal the disruption or mutation of a specific gene increases the risk of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression.
Investigators believe the genetic mutation affects the structure, function and chemistry of the brain. They believe the findings could help in the quest for new treatments.In the study, researchers led by the University of Edinburgh scanned the brains of people that have a specific genetic mutation that causes part of one chromosome to swap places with another. This is interesting in that the chromosome swaps places with another one.  All I know is that I hope before I die they find out why I have this disease.
The article goes on to say: "The mutation results in disruption of a gene called DISC1, which is associated with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and recurrent major depression. The team found that people with the genetic mutation had changes in the structure of their brain. These changes were linked with the severity of their symptoms of mental ill health. Investigators also showed that carriers of the mutation had lower levels of a neural signaling chemical called glutamate in certain areas of their brain. Reduced glutamate levels have been strongly linked with schizophrenia in previous studies. Researchers say their findings confirm that the DISC1 mutation is associated with a significantly increased risk of psychiatric illness. They just said it has to do with the severity of the symptoms.  Is that why there is serious mental illness and some people have less severe symptoms?
The article ends with: "'They hope that continuing to study people with the mutation will reveal new insights to the biological mechanisms that underpin these conditions. The DISC1 mutation was first identified in a Scottish family that showed unusually high rates of major psychiatric disorders. Scientists have been studying generations of the family for 40 years but this is the first time they have scanned their brains. The study appears in the journal Schizophrenia. Professor Stephen Lawrie, head of the Division of Psychiatry at the University of Edinburgh, said: 'This study confirms and extends the genetics of DISC1, and shows how that and similar genetic effects can increase the risk of major mental illnesses.'" I do not understand this genetics as no one else in my family has this disease and I do not wish it on them.  Even though I hold down a job.  I know other people with this disease do not fare as well as I do.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Exercise can tackle symptoms of schizophrenia

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today. "Aerobic exercise can significantly help people coping with the long-term mental health condition schizophrenia, according to a new study from University of Manchester researchers. Through combining data from 10 independent clinical trials with a total of 385 patients with schizophrenia, Joseph Firth found that around 12 weeks of aerobic exercise training can significant improve patients' brain functioning. The study by Firth, Dr Brendon Stubbs and Professor Alison Yung is published in Schizophrenia Bulletin, the world's leading journal on Schizophrenia and one of leading periodicals in Psychiatry. Schizophrenia's acute phase is typified by hallucinations and delusions, which are usually treatable with medication. However, most patients are still troubled with pervasive 'cognitive deficits'; including poor memory, impaired information processing and loss of concentration. The research showed that patients who are treated with aerobic exercise programs, such as treadmills and exercise bikes, in combination with their medication, will improve their overall brain functioning more than those treated with medications alone."  I have a treadmill where I live although it is always busy that is why I used to prefer to just take walks since I had the surgery for lung cancer I cannot walk so far in the summer.  I do not know if it because of the fires around or I am just going to have trouble walking.  I am going to try again this winter because I really need to walk not to lose weight because I lost enough with the surgery.  Just to exercise.
The article goes on to say: "'The areas which were most improved by exercising were patients' ability to understand social situations. their attention spans, and their 'working memory' - or how much information they can hold in mind at one time. There was also evidence among the studies that programs which used greater amounts of exercise, and those which were most successful for improving fitness, had the greatest effects on cognitive functioning. Joe Firth said: 'Cognitive deficits are one aspect of schizophrenia which is particularly problematic. 'They hinder recovery and impact negatively upon people's ability to function in work and social situations. Furthermore, current medications for schizophrenia do not treat the cognitive deficits of the disorder.'" It does not help memory but to understand social situations that is not enough for people they need help to hold down a job.
The article ends: "'We are searching for new ways to treat these aspects of the illness, and now research is increasingly suggesting that physical exercise can provide a solution.' He added: 'These findings present the first large-scale evidence supporting the use of physical exercise to treat the neurocognitive deficits associated with schizophrenia. 'Using exercise from the earliest stages of the illness could reduce the likelihood of long-term disability, and facilitate full, functional recovery for patients.'" I did not walk as much as I have these last few years although I have always walk as I do not drive.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Genes Tied to Smaller Brain Area in Those At Risk for Psychosis

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today. "Scientists in Switzerland have uncovered a link between certain genes and the size of important brain structures in individuals with a heightened risk of schizophrenia psychosis. The findings are published in the scientific journal Translational Psychiatry. Schizophrenia is a severely debilitating mental disorder characterized by hallucinations, delusions and cognitive decline. The condition has been linked to a variety of biological, social, and environmental factors as well as to changes in brain structure. For example, the hippocampus in the temporal lobe is usually smaller in people with schizophrenia compared to those without the disorder. Researchers have been unsure whether these changes to the brain structure are a result of the disorder and/or its prescribed medications, or whether these changes were already present before the onset of symptoms. For the study, a research team at the University of Basel examined the brain structures of individuals who were at risk of developing psychosis as well as those of patients who were experiencing the onset of psychotic symptoms for the first time."  I do not understand what they could have found because everyone with the schizophrenia have different ways the mental illness affects some are lower functioning some are higher functioning.
The article goes on to say: "Initially, scientists from the Adult Psychiatric Clinic of the University Psychiatric Clinics (UPK) and the Transfaculty Research Platform Molecular and Cognitive Neurosciences (MCN) observed no notable differences between the hippocampi of individuals at high risk and those of patients. Next, in collaboration with scientists from the Transfaculty Research Platform, the Basel researchers investigated whether any known schizophrenia risk genes were associated with the hippocampus structure. They did, in fact, find a connection. The researchers found that the greater the number of risk genes a person possessed, the smaller the volume of their hippocampus. This was true regardless of whether they were a high-risk study participant or a patient."  There have been other studies with the hippocampus  I wrote about them a couple of years ago.
The article ends: "'This discovery suggests that a group of risk genes is connected with a reduction in the size of a critical region of the brain before the disorder manifests itself. The findings offer a greater understanding of neurobiological factors contributing to schizophrenia. It is well-known that none of the wider risk factors (e.g. genes, environment, unfavorable social situation) can be used to predict the onset of psychosis in any specific person. However, the discovery may be of use for the treatment of schizophrenia. 'It is quite possible that individuals with smaller hippocampi will react differently to therapy compared to those with normally developed hippocampi,' said lead researcher Dr. Stefan Borgwardt of the Neuropsychiatry and Brain Imaging Unit. The scientists are planning more studies to further confirm the therapeutic potential of this new finding.'"  They do these studies but we get no answers.  Like I would like to know why I have this disease since it does not run in my family.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

How Exercise May Help the Brain Grow Stronger

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today. "Physical activity is good for our brains. A wealth of science supports that idea. But precisely how exercise alters and improves the brain remains somewhat mysterious. A new study with mice fills in one piece of that puzzle. It shows that, in rodents at least, strenuous exercise seems to beneficially change how certain genes work inside the brain. Though the study was in mice, and not people, there are encouraging hints that similar things may be going on inside our own skulls. For years, scientists have known that the brains of animals and people who regularly exercise are different than the brains of those who are sedentary. Experiments in animals show that, for instance, exercise induces the creation of many new cells in the hippocampus, which is a part of the brain essential for memory and learning, and also improves the survival of those fragile, newborn neurons. Researchers believe that exercise performs these feats at least in part by goosing the body’s production of a substance called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or B.D.N.F., which is a protein that scientists sometimes refer to as “Miracle-Gro” for the brain. B.D.N.F. helps neurons to grow and remain vigorous and also strengthens the synapses that connect neurons, allowing the brain to function better. Low levels of B.D.N.F. have been associated with cognitive decline in both people and animals. Exercise increases levels of B.D.N.F. in brain tissue."  I used to exercise by taking walks before they took out my left lung.  I cannot do it now but am looking forward to the weather cooling down so I can try again.  I do not know if it is the hot weather or the fires that make it impossible for be to walk like I used to.
The article goes on to say: "But scientists have not understood just what it is about exercise that prompts the brain to start pumping out additional B.D.N.F. So for the new study, which was published this month in the journal eLIFE, researchers with New York University’s Langone Medical Center and other institutions decided to microscopically examine and reverse engineer the steps that lead to a surge in B.D.N.F. after exercise. They began by gathering healthy mice. Half of the animals were put into cages that contained running wheels. The others were housed without wheels. For a month, all of the animals were allowed to get on with their lives. Those living with wheels ran often, generally covering several miles a day, since mice like to run. The others remained sedentary.
After four weeks, the scientists looked at brain tissue from the hippocampus of both groups of animals, checking for B.D.N.F. levels. As expected, the levels were much higher in the brains of the runners. But then, to better understand why the runners had more B.D.N.F., the researchers turned to the particular gene in the animals’ DNA that is known to create B.D.N.F. For some reason, the scientists realized, this gene was more active among the animals that exercised than those that did not. Using sophisticated testing methods, the scientists soon learned why. In both groups of animals, the B.D.N.F. gene was partially covered with clusters of a particular type of molecule that binds to the gene, though in different amounts." Well I see exercise is beneficial for a person.  I used to pride myself on being able to walk all over town.  Maybe this winter I can again.
The article ends with: "In the sedentary mice, these molecules swarmed so densely over the gene that they blocked signals that tell the gene to turn on. As a result, the B.D.N.F. genes of the sedentary animals were relatively muted, pumping out little B.D.N.F. But among the runners, the molecular blockade was much less effective. The molecules couldn’t seem to cover and bind to the entire B.D.N.F. gene. So messages from the body continued to reach the gene and tell it to turn on and produce more B.D.N.F. Perhaps most remarkably, the researchers also found a particular substance in the runners’ brains that fended off the action of these obstructionist molecules. The runners’ brains contained high levels of ketones, which are a byproduct of the breakdown of fat. During strenuous exercise, the body relies in part on fat for fuel and winds up creating ketones, some of which migrate to the brain. (They are tiny enough to cross the blood-brain barrier.) The brain uses these ketones for fuel when blood sugar levels grow low. But it appears that ketones also cause the molecules that hinder the B.D.N.F. gene to loosen their grip, as the scientists realized when they experimentally added ketones to brain tissue from some of the mice. Afterward, their B.D.N.F. genes were not blocked by nearly as many of the bothersome molecules, and those genes could get on with the job of making B.D.N.F. None of this occurred in the brains of the sedentary mice. 'It’s incredible just how pervasive and complex the effects of exercise are on the brain,' said Moses Chao, a professor at the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine at N.Y.U. who oversaw the study. Whether the same mechanisms that occur in mice occur in our own brains when we exercise is still unknown. But, Dr. Chao pointed out, like the mice, we have more B.D.N.F. in our bodies after exercise. We also create ketones when we exercise, and those ketones are known to migrate to our brains. Generally, however, this process requires exerting yourself vigorously for an hour or more, after which time your body, having exhausted its stores of sugar, starts burning stored fat and making ketones. If an hour or more of intense exercise seems daunting — and it does to me — don’t despair. 'We are only starting to understand' the many ways in which exercise of any kind and amount is likely to alter our brains, Dr. Chao said. For now, he says, 'it’s a very good idea to just keep moving.'" Just keep moving anyway you can.  It all helps for the better.  I would not want to lose my memory or anything because I did not move around or walk. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Worst Part Of Schizophrenia Isn’t What You Think It Is

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today and this is the last part of two parts. "'It’s like having a personal trainer in the gym, keeping you in just the right zone to build strength and fitness, without slacking or overtraining. And like a physical fitness regime, improvement only comes with persistence — Vinogradov’s experiments typically involve up to 50 hours of training, given over 8 to 10 weeks. 'If you don’t do it intensively, you’re not going to get the same results,' Vinogradov told BuzzFeed News. 'You need to come back every three days, and do your reps again.' After his first psychotic episode, Staglin returned to his classes at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, but his grades plummeted. He was eventually able to drag them back up, but only by isolating himself socially to devote his mental energy to his studies. Reading was an effort. He felt socially awkward and struggled to make friends. After college, Staglin worked for a satellite engineering company in Palo Alto, California, and was applying to grad school at MIT when the pressure became too much again. 'I had to resign from my job. I couldn’t focus. I couldn’t concentrate,' Staglin said.
It wasn’t until the late 1990s that Staglin took part in some of Vinogradov’s earliest experiments, which were designed to help people with schizophrenia make sense of speech and other sounds. Among other tasks, he had to tell whether a rapidly played tone was rising or falling in pitch. Staglin diligently did his reps and saw some benefits after many years of struggling with the cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia.'" After my first episode of mental illness I do not think I could concentrate on anything.  An example when I had a episode in the state hospital I was in school there and could not concentrate on anything I asked the teacher to take me back to the ward.
The article goes on to say: "'For Staglin, realizing that he was getting better at the games boosted his confidence. As his performance improved, he became more outgoing. 'I think it’s because of the cognitive benefits of being able to perceive and understand conversations better,' he said.
Despite the initial experiment’s benefits to Staglin and other volunteers, it took several years to win funding for the work. In their first major study, published in 2009, Vinogradov’s team invited people with schizophrenia to visit their lab and play a variety of games to improve how they understood sounds. As well as distinguishing the rising or falling tones, they also had to distinguish between distorted syllables containing similar sounds, such as 'pag' and 'bag,' and were given more complex tasks including remembering details from conversations played on the screen. The volunteers who’d trained on these tasks subsequently took tests in which they had to recall words. They performed better than a control group who had trained on computer puzzle games. They also did better on general tests of cognitive ability. Encouragingly, the gains were about twice as large as those typically reported in previous cognitive training studies. And the benefits could still be seen six months later.
Since this initial success, Vinogradov and her colleagues have experimented with different training games, some targeting brain circuits that process social information — for example, by asking volunteers to read the emotions on pictures of people’s faces. The researchers have also tried to intervene earlier in the disorder. (Like Staglin and Webster, most people with schizophrenia experience their first psychotic episode as young adults.)  Last year at the International Congress on Schizophrenia Research in Colorado Springs, Vinogradov’s team reported that the training did more than boost the cognitive abilities of recently diagnosed young people: It also seemed to reduce the severity of their psychotic symptoms, measured six months later.'" The games I played did not have sounds they were pictures of birds and you had to remember them.  They were not all birds but picture of things that you had to remember that is why the guy that took them with me said they did not work because it was memory.
The article ends: "'That doesn’t mean that brain training can replace the drugs that keep hallucinations and delusions at bay. But it suggests that the games may help to protect the brain from the disrupted wiring that is thought to be the root cause of schizophrenia’s symptoms. The researchers want to turn the cognitive improvements into real life-changers, but it’s not yet clear whether the training can make a big difference to holding down a job and building friendships. Vinogradov thinks this may require combining the computer games with other treatments, such as occupational therapy to help people with schizophrenia manage everyday tasks, and low doses of stimulant drugs that can improve focus. Webster got involved in Vinogradov’s research last year, volunteering for a study to see whether the training would work on an iPad — so that young people with schizophrenia can give their brains a workout at home. Like Staglin, Webster had struggled with mental tasks and felt socially isolated. These problems were compounded, he said, by several concussions during his time in jail, when he was beaten by fellow inmates. Unfamiliar with the jail’s unspoken rules, he first got into trouble by sitting in a part of the canteen claimed by black prisoners. After his release, Webster found it difficult to resume his studies. 'I would do homework and I would feel that I had to get up and stop and go listen to music or something,' Webster said. Trying to keep working wasn’t a good idea, he found: 'I get extremely frustrated when I’m in that state. I’ll start slamming doors and stuff, and throwing things across the room.'  Webster felt that the iPad training helped. 'I started noticing that I was less anxious when I was in public,' he said. 'My thoughts became less disorganized.'
Games designed to help a patient understand what they are seeing, in particular, seemed to boost his peripheral vision, increasing his awareness while driving. And his mom noticed that he responded more quickly when they talked — previously, their conversations had been punctuated by long pauses. Still, Webster would often quit the games before he was supposed to, because he found the exercises boring. 'I was supposed to do five hours a week. I ended up doing three,' he said. 'With schizophrenia, it’s really common to have a lack of motivation.' Cameron of UC Davis, who has collaborated with Vinogradov’s group, believes that the computer games industry — masters of cliff-hangers and cinematic thrills — should be able to solve that problem.  Vinogradov's team is  now concentrating on intervening even earlier, in young people who haven’t experienced a full-blown psychotic episode but are starting to behave oddly or having trouble distinguishing dreams from reality. The researchers have already shown that the training helps young people rated at high risk of developing psychosis get better at remembering words. But the idea of starting treatment before people have experienced a psychotic break is controversial. 'Attenuated psychosis syndrome,' intended to describe people at risk of schizophrenia, was rejected  as a new psychiatric diagnosis in 2012. Critics argued that more than 70% of young people who have strange thoughts and minor hallucinations do not go on to develop schizophrenia. If this diagnosis became mainstream, they worried, it could lead to a massive and unwarranted expansion in the prescription of powerful antipsychotic drugs. Getting young people to play computer games doesn’t arouse quite the same fears. 'Cognitive training is probably benign enough,' Allen Frances of Duke University, who led the opposition to the proposed diagnosis, told BuzzFeed News by email. But he remains worried about young people who may never develop schizophrenia being stigmatized by an 'at risk' label.
Webster would have welcomed the opportunity to seek early treatment. He began to have problems concentrating from the age of 14, and found it hard to socialize with other kids. 'I think my life would have different,' he said, 'if they’d caught this disease before I had a full-blown episode.'" Yeah you have to worry that the games get boring.  That is what happened to us that tried the games here at work. I could do better at remembering everyday that I would not play it every morning like I was supposed to.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Worst Part Of Schizophrenia Isn’t What You Think It Is

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today.  This will be a three part series. "'Brandon Staglin lost touch with reality in the summer of 1990, after his freshman year of college. His first serious relationship had just broken down. Back home in Walnut Creek, California, he was struggling to find a summer job. That’s when the voices became impossible to ignore. 'Baby Brandon!' they taunted. 'Mixed-up kid!' Staglin couldn’t sleep and thought that a wall had come down inside his head, leaving the right side hollow. 'I felt I’d lost half of my spirit,' Staglin told BuzzFeed News. So he covered his right eye with his hand, fearful that a new personality would fill the void if he let any experiences in. Delusional thinking like this, often accompanied by voices and other hallucinations, is a classic symptom of the psychosis that grips people with schizophrenia. Travis Webster’s lowest ebb also came when he was 18, back in 2013. Diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, which combines psychosis with wild mood swings, he’d stopped taking his medication. That led to a conflict with his parents: Webster thought they were conspiring against him, despite their efforts to help. He was filling out a restraining order against his family when two police officers and a social worker knocked on his door in downtown San Diego.'" Yeah I remember when I had psychosis for the second time all I did was lay in bed. I did not understand what was happening to me.  Even though I had my first breakdown in prison.  Then the psychiatrist just said I needed sleep and put me on Halcyon.
The article goes on to say: "'Things quickly got out of hand, as the former high school water polo player resisted the officers’ attempts to restrain him. 'I am 6-foot-5, 220 pounds,' Webster told BuzzFeed News. 'The cops were so small.” He punched one of them in the face and was sentenced to two months in the county jail. Travis Webster at his mother’s house in La Jolla, California. Ariana Drehsler for BuzzFeed News ID: 9240472 Life has gotten better for both Staglin and Webster. Today, their psychosis is controlled by medication, and they’ve become advocates for mental health: Staglin helps run the One Mind Institute, a research organization set up by his family, and Webster speaks about his experiences in schools. But silencing the voices and banishing delusions doesn’t mean that everything is OK. Once high-flying students, both men’s grades went into free fall when they were gripped by psychosis. And even after those symptoms were under control, they found it hard to concentrate on their studies. Hallucinations and delusions may be the public face of schizophrenia, but the hidden cognitive symptoms — which include difficulty focusing on mental tasks, understanding speech, and remembering what just happened — make it very hard for people with the condition to live satisfying, productive lives." I remember when the police arrested me they had to hold me down and one officer said I tore his pocket when they were trying to arrest me.  I had never fought the police before.
The article ends: "They might hear voices and learn not to respond to them,” Cameron Carter of the University of California, Davis, a specialist in the cognitive aspects of schizophrenia, told BuzzFeed News. But it’s hard to follow people’s conversations if you literally can’t process what they’re saying. And there’s no compensating for an inability to concentrate. Staglin and Webster, together with dozens of other volunteers, have found some relief, however, by playing computer games designed to strengthen their mental abilities. They have participated in trials led by Sophia Vinogradov and her colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), which draw from research into 'neuroplasticity' — the idea that the brain changes in response to how it is used. This means that neural circuits can be strengthened through mental training, much like an athlete builds muscle by pumping iron at the gym. The games are designed by a company called Posit Science, launched by one of the pioneers of neuroplasticity, Michael Merzenich, also at UCSF. They automatically adjust their difficulty so that players succeed on only around 80% of the tasks. Improve your performance, and the game gets harder. If your concentration slips, the tasks get a little easier until you’re back in the groove."  The games must be better than the one I tried six years ago.  All it did was improve your memory. My memory is pretty good with numbers although math is a different subject that I cannot do.  My tutor use to say he remembers it good when were sitting here but once he walks out the door he cannot remember all we learned.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Does the Media Unfairly Portray Mentally Ill People as Violent?

That is the title of this article I am reviewing today. "Nearly 40 percent of news stories about mental illness report a mentally ill person committing violence toward others. These numbers paint a misleading portrait of those with mental illness, because in reality, less than five percent of violence in the United States is directly related to mental illness, according to a new analysis by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The researchers, who studied news articles from top-tier media outlets over a 20-year period, say that this heavy reporting of such a small figure unfairly alters the perception of the readers to believe that most people with mental illness are prone to violence when extensive research has shown that only a small percent ever commit such acts.
The researchers were quite surprised at how little has changed regarding this subject over the last several decades. In fact, the portrayals may have increased the stigma toward people with mental illness. For example, in the first decade of the study period (1994 to 2005), just one percent of newspaper stories linking violence with mental illness appeared on the front page, compared with 18 percent in the second decade (2005 to 2014). 'Most people with mental illness are not violent toward others and most violence is not caused by mental illness, but you would never know that by looking at media coverage of incidents,' says study leader Emma E. “Beth” McGinty, Ph.D., MS, an assistant professor in the departments of Health Policy and Management and Mental Health at the Bloomberg School.'" A person with mental illness gets very tired of hearing all theses stories of violence and mental illness.  It has been twenty seven years since I had a drink of Alcohol and twenty eight years since I have been locked up for any crime under the influence.  Twenty eight years since a police officer has even stopped me.
The article goes on to say: "'Despite all of the work that has been done to reduce stigma associated with mental health issues, this portrayal of mental illness as closely linked with violence exacerbates a false perception about people with these illnesses, many of whom live healthy, productive lives.
'In an ideal world, reporting would make clear the low percentage of people with mental illness who commit violence.'  In any given year, 20 percent of the U.S. population suffers from mental illness and, over a lifetime, roughly 50 percent receive a diagnosis. For the study, the researchers studied a random sample of 400 news articles that had covered some aspect of mental illness over a 20-year period. All articles appeared in 11 high-circulation, high-viewership media outlets in the United States. The findings show that the most frequently mentioned topic across the study period was violence (55 percent), with 38 percent mentioning violence against others and 29 percent linking mental illness with suicide. Treatment was mentioned in 47 percent of the stories, but just 14 percent described successful treatment for or recovery. 'Stories about successful treatment have the potential to decrease stigma and provide a counter image to depictions of violence, but there are not that many of these types of narratives depicted in the news media,' McGinty says. A deeper look into the media coverage found that stories of mass shootings by individuals with mental illness increased over the course of the study period, from nine percent of all news stories in the first decade to 22 percent in the second decade.'" I hate to admitted it but I had some violence on my record and went to prison for two years where I had my first breakdown before I won my appeal.  I was provoked although that is not an excuse but I would have only done six months in the county jail instead of prison but the judge did not want to give me the law because she knew I would win.
The article ends: "'The number of mass shootings, however, has remained steady over that time period, according to FBI statistics. Among the stories that reported violence toward others, 38 percent mentioned that mental illness can increase the risk of such violence while only eight percent mentioned that most people with mental illness are never or rarely violent toward others.
The specific mental illness most frequently connected to violence in the news was schizophrenia (17 percent) and the two most frequently mentioned risk factors for violence other than mental illness were drug use (five percent) and stressful life events (five percent). One limitation of the study is that it did not include stories from local television news, where a large proportion of Americans get their news. McGinty says that the negative reporting adds to the perception that people with mental illness are dangerous. This is a stigmatizing portrayal that prior studies have shown leads to a desire for social distance from people with mental illness. She concedes, however, that it may be difficult for members of the news media not to assume mental illness is in play because of the idea among many that anyone who would commit violence, especially mass shootings, must have mental illness.
'Anyone who kills people is not mentally healthy. We can all agree on that,' McGinty says. 'But it’s not necessarily true that they have a diagnosable illness. They may have anger or emotional issues, which can be clinically separate from a diagnosis of mental illness.' 'Violence may stem from alcohol or drug use, issues related to poverty or childhood abuse. But these elements are rarely discussed. And as a result, coverage is skewed toward assuming mental illness first.'" I know all my times being arrested were the result of alcohol. After twenty eight years of not drinking I do not miss it at all.  For me it a matter of being free to do what I want to do. I can say today if I was provoked again I would walk away it is wrong for me to put my freedom in the hands of others.  Plus I now have my grandkids that I do not want to grow up the way I did I do not blame anyone but myself because I was a lot smarter than that but alcohol changes a person to make stupid mistakes.