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A Journal on Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychopharmacology

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
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Minerva Psichiatrica 2001 September;42(3):189-204

language: Italian

Aggressive behaviour in psychiatric disorders

La Malfa G. P., Conte M., Bertelli M., Fanelli L., Cabras P. L.


Aim of the study was to present a review of papers published in the years 1996-1998 concerning the relationship between single diagnostic categories and aggressive behaviour. By consultation of Ultranet-medline and Pubmed, using password as ''aggression'', ''aggressive'', ''aggressiveness'', ''violence'', 76 articles have been singled out; the Psychiatric clinics of North America: Anger, Aggression and violence has also been examined. The material so obtained has been divided on the basis of diagnostic category (anxiety-unipolar depression; psychosis; personality disorders; neurological disorders; mental retardation; alcoholism and drug addiction). In the considered period the complex relationship between aggression and mental disorder have been studied assuming several approaches (biologic, cognitive, psychodynamic, psychosocial etc.). The more substantial material regards unipolar depression, a disease in which the presence of aggressive behaviours and symptoms like anxiety, irritability and agitation defines a positive dimension of depression that seems to present peculiar characteristics in biologic, cognitive and clinical sense. The high prevalence of aggressive behavior in antisocial and borderline personality has been confirmed as well as the importance of psychological factors as egotism and low tolerance to frustration in the pathogenesis of these conducts. Important contributions have been proposed about psychotic disorders, mental retardation and alcoholism while anxiety disorders and psychiatric manifestations of neurological diseases have received less attention. Obsessive-compulsive disorder and eating disorders haven't been object of research.

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