Experts: Depression not sole cause of violent crimes

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Depression affects roughly one in 10 Americans and experts say that doesn’t make anyone dangerous.

“Depression doesn’t kill people, killers kill people,” said Dr. Brian Cagle, a clinical psychologist with Bellin Health. 

Dr. Cagle said incidents, such as the Menasha shootings, often link the illness with the violent crime.

“I can understand how people could do that,” he explained. “But, again, if you step back a little bit and look at the number of people that struggle with depression or anxiety, that would mean there would be violent crimes committed constantly everywhere, all the time.”

Dr. Cagle is concerned the unfortunate correlation between depression and violent crimes could further the stigma surrounding mental illness and prevent people from getting help.

“It does increase the likelihood that people will be more hesitant to get help that would be beneficial for them or to admit that they might want some help or need help because they don’t want to be labeled as somebody who potentially would commit a violent crime,” he added.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. There are a number of local agencies to turn to for help.

Bellin Heath

Brown County Crisis Center

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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