Law, society, and mental health

Law, Society and Mental Health Abnormal mental behavior results from various factors including emotional instability, biological imbalances and social factors. Biological, mental disorders are more prevalent during old age. Such disorders are classified into those affecting all ages, such as depression and anxiety. The other group’s mental instability results from brain dysfunctions, for example, delirium. Delirium is a mental behavior which disorients one’s environmental attention, resulting in hallucinations and illusions. Emotional imbalances may cause abnormal behavior as in the case of John Hinckley, who was involved in a series of murder to gain the attention of a girl he loved. Emotional instability may result in a person doing socially unacceptable things while trying to wrongfully. Societal pressure can cause abnormal behavior including mental stress and depression. A major concern is on contrast of law and scientific definition of human behavior. The law considers people to have free will and thus responsible for their action, behavioral scientists advance that behavior develops through interaction of complex forces and one may at times, not be responsible for their actions.
Scientific knowledge on mental abnormality is not certain. In trying cases involving insane defendants, differences arise between defense clinicians testimony and that presented by prosecution. These differences are evidence that information on clinical matters is too limited in some areas to influence crucial legal decisions. A difficult problem in evaluation of mental capability in the defense case is the requirement to determine the defendants state of mind for an event that occurred in the past. As mental states change over time, it is challenging for clinicians to evaluate with certainty, the mental incapacity of the person at the time of the crime. A common criticism in the insanity defense is that it permits criminals to go unpunished for their crimes (Grünbaum, 2001). Some individuals who are taken to mental institutions after committing crimes get released after a short stay at the institutions. A personal view is that the clinical defense may be used to determine legal position in cases involving mental instability. The society would not be just if mentally challenged people were given equal treatment with criminals who have mental capacity. Justice is not served if one will be sentenced to prison for an offence they do not comprehend. Clinical defense should be, applied sparingly and carefully so that criminals do not pledge mental incapacity to escape judgment.
Grünbaum, A. (2001). Clinical theory Validation of psychoanalysis: A psychoanalysis philosophy Study. International Universities Press, Inc.