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This study uses paired health and crime records to match violent crime with a diagnosis of depression. This is an incredibly sensitive subjective with enormous social implications if not handled carefully. Eliminating the stigma associated with psychiatric diagnoses is important; results of this nature must be put in context and critically reviewed.
The study appears to have based its diagnostic validity upon inpatient registers. The individuals examined however, are exclusively outpatients. It would be interesting to know more about how the diagnosis of depression was validated. Furthermore, as detailed in the article, the issue of whether the depression was treated at the time of criminal event is important.
The role of concurrent drug and alcohol use is also significant. Perhaps it would be useful to exclude those with both depression and drug or alcohol misuse? Even if they were matched against those in the ‘non-depressed’ group, the interplay of both diagnoses together may increase risk of violent crime.