While most people with schizophrenia are not violent, violence is one of the reasons someone who has schizophrenia may need hospitalization. It is a way to protect the person or those around him or her until the delusions or hallucinations often associated with the violence pass.
Common signs that can indicate someone with schizophrenia may become violent include:
People with schizophrenia can have a hard time telling what’s real and what’s not. They may see things that aren’t there or hold firm beliefs that fly in the face of fact. Understanding schizophrenia’s nature can help patients and their loved ones regain a sense of control.
Talking about violence, especially when directed toward specific people or groups of people (such as past coworkers) or places, such as churches or government buildings.
Talking, writing, or drawing about death and violence.
Having unexplained mood changes or behaving aggressively or violently. Aggressive acts may include teasing and taunting other people by calling them names; threatening, making fun of, or playing mind games with other people; or making threatening phone calls.
Buying or talking about having weapons or other means, such as poisons, that could hurt or kill people.
Not taking responsibility for his or her actions or saying that the actions are justified because of how he or she has been treated.
Drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs more frequently.
Increased fears of other people (paranoia).
Telling someone that he or she hears voices telling him or her to hurt or kill another person.