媒体对阵精神病患者

墨尔本—被控去年夏天在科罗拉多州奥罗拉(Aurora)满座剧院纵火的詹姆斯·霍尔姆斯(James Holmes)没有犯罪记录,但在事件发生前就诊过精神科。被疑谋杀母亲并枪杀康涅狄格州某小学20名儿童和6名成人教职员工随后自尽的亚当·兰扎(Adam Lanza)从未陷入过法律纠纷,但被诊断为“人格失常”,即亚斯伯格(Asperger)发育失常症候。挪威的安德斯·贝林·布雷维克(Anders Behring Breivik)、亚利桑那州的杰瑞德·李·拉夫纳(Jared Lee Loughner)、弗吉尼亚州的赵承熙(Seung-Hui Cho),这些大规模杀人案主犯都有精神病。

事实是,决定随机地屠杀大量无辜人群反映了深度思维紊乱,而这有可能是精神病的反映。但是,与流行的看法相反,这并不意味着精神病患者很危险或有暴力倾向。认为他们如此——以及引起这一看法的报道——正在让广泛存在的妖魔化精神病患者的现象变本加厉,增加他们的痛苦,也使他们无法完全融入社会。

公众所认为的与精神病相关的暴力风险与事实并不一致。比如,在美国,大约42%的成年人相信压抑的孩子可能是危险的。70%的美国人相信就诊精神科的病人可能是危险的。但是,根据美国精神病协会的数据,在任意给定年份,精神失常者约占总人口的四分之一,但只占暴力犯罪比重的4—5%。事实上,精神病患者如若得不到治疗,或者滥用酒精和毒品,他们确实更容易做出暴力行为,但这一风险很小。

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