Insanity is a state of mind that interferes with the adequacy of the awareness of the real picture of one's own actions, as well as the impossibility of a person to predict and report on the danger he has committed. The concept of insanity refers to the psychiatric register of conditions and is due to pathopsychological disorders or other states of the psyche that deviate from the norm. It may have a temporary course, with minor changes in the biochemistry of the brain or permanent manifestation in the presence of chronic mental illness.
Acts committed in an insane state are not prosecuted criminally, however, a person who is inherently in a state of insanity is subjected to forced hospitalization in a psychiatric hospital (which makes the desire to depict his own inadequacy among criminals to avoid imprisonment). The concept of insanity is used exclusively in jurisprudence when a person commits a dangerous or destructive act for society, in other aspects, another terminology is characteristic, often based on psychiatric diagnoses.
Signs of insanity
There are three states of the human psyche that characterize different degrees of adequacy: responsibility (lack of pathologies of consciousness and its altered states), insanity (violation of the sphere aware of a person and the ability of an adequate perception of reality, as well as thinking processes), limited responsibility (if there is a diagnosed violation of the mental sphere in which the ability to perceive and analyze is not completely lost, that is, a person is able to evaluate most of his behavior adequately and not which matured points or items may indicate slight variations in the estimates). According to the results of diagnostics of the medical commission and identification of the degree of mental disorders, the punishment, its mitigation or replacement with compulsory treatment is chosen.
To determine insanity, a certain procedure procedure has been derived, based on the determination of signs of insanity. It is worth noting that a state close to insanity or potentially dangerous behavior is not considered in this context and can only be a recommendation for relatives to be more attentive. But so far there is no committed action in which the state of insanity will be confirmed by a medical commission and will be combined with a violation considered as such by law, you can only talk about mental disorders.
The causes of insanity can be in the framework of medical indicators, biologically-based (mental process disorders), and also have psychological characteristics (inability to be aware of their actions).
Determination of insanity is not only the task of the court process and the medical commission (usually this happens after the action has been completed), and is also a necessary requirement for society. This need is conditioned, first of all, by the fact that knowing the signs of insane behavior, it is possible to provide timely assistance and prevent sad consequences. The case when they tried to reach an agreement with a person in a state of lost consciousness and appealed to logic had dire consequences, since a person does not hear arguments or a voice of reason in such a state, and postponing the call of the psychiatric team promoted the commission of a crime. Also, people who are not able to assess the degree of opponent's responsibility, often become victims of a blurred consciousness or state of affect, in which it is hard enough to stop a person (a characteristic state for psychotic exacerbation is an increase in physical strength and speed, a decrease in sensitivity to the words of others and not notice pain) in this state, without knowing the signs of insanity, it is possible to harm a person and suffer the most from his actions).
The first sign of irresponsible behavior is the lack of awareness of the destructive and threatening consequences of one’s actions for oneself and society. Examples include the kindling of a pioneer bonfire in the middle of a nine-story apartment, laying stones on rails, feeding a baby with raw minced meat and the like. By carrying out these actions, a person may not take into account the negative consequences, considering that he does not do anything wrong or even does a useful job.
The second sign is the inability of a person to control his own actions. This includes affective outbreaks, after which the person does not remember that a certain piece of time had occurred, as well as exacerbations of psychopathic diseases. In a manic-depressive psychosis, a person may not be able to hold his own arousal, go somewhere, run, when paranoid disorder can pounce on people with some sign that is intimidating for him, on the basis of schizophrenia, can throw the child out of the window under the order votes. There is no need to talk about any control in such cases, volitional sphere suffers with mental disorders, and with affective outbursts (which are a temporary insane state and arising due to a strong emotional shock), memory can suffer. The only difference is that with a psychiatric diagnosis, the time required for the normalization of the psyche is quite long and appropriate treatment is necessary, whereas the affect passes on its own and drug therapy can only be supportive with psychotherapy aimed at obtaining ways to control and prevent such outbreaks. Characteristic for delirium tremens, a narcotic disturbance of consciousness and psychotic exacerbation, it is treatable and fully cured.
The third sign - a complete lack of understanding of their own actions and their nature. Explicit negative actions that do not have an actual basis are dropping people from the platform onto the subway rails, breaking all the pencils in a box in a mathematics class, putting arsenic in soup. Actions are characterized by a painful, chronic and irreversible mental disorder.
The causes of insanity in this case may lie in the field of intellectual deficiency, with stable dementia, increasing chronic personality defect, progression of psychiatric disease — treatment is practically not amenable, a disability group is issued or a conclusion is issued about life-long hospitalization, since a person is incapable of independent survival.
Criteria for insanity
A group of experts, including psychiatrists, psychologists, investigators and judges, is working to impose a sentence of insanity. The data and testimony indicators, the opinion of the subject, the results of psychological diagnosis and many other facts are collected. Based on the data obtained, the presence of insanity is determined by medical and psychological criteria.
Medical, reasonable biological changes in the brain and nervous system, criteria include mental disorders (psychotic and schizophrenic disorders) and the intellectual sphere (congenital or acquired dementia due to infections and injuries, diagnosed by a decrease in IQ below 70) - these causes are partially corrected or not amenable at all. The next part of the biologically based criteria is amenable to correction, and the resulting insanity passes on its own after a short time. These temporary states of insanity include any type of intoxication (alcoholic or narcotic) that acquires pathological features, leading to a change in personality traits and contributing to the commission of acts unusual for a person. If in the first case, a person is clearly recognized as inadequate and the punishment is mitigated, then in the second case there are possible options for the state of the person himself (it is also possible to recognize full sanity and make a full penalty).
Psychological criteria include violations of the volitional sphere of a person, which represent the destruction of the controlling component and the inability to stop in the performance of wrong actions, even if later they are aware of their inadmissibility. Such personality disorders are inherent in people with drug addiction, epilepsy, cleptomania (and other manifestations of mania). People cannot stop their actions, despite the understanding of negative consequences. Here a set of biological and psychological factors is involved.
Also, the psychological criteria include the age of a person, since children are not legally responsible for the actions committed. But besides the actual passport age, the criterion is the degree of development, that is, regardless of the actual age, if a person has pedagogical neglect or mental retardation, insanity is recognized due to the inability to fully assess the consequences of his actions. Forced corrective measures are appointed, since the developmental delay is smoothed out in the process of learning and socialization, and may occur due to the injury or illness.
For the court to establish the presence of insanity, one of the criteria of the biological or psychological spectrum is selected, on the basis of which the measure of mitigation of punishment is chosen, usually consisting of compulsory treatment. The treatment program, the diagnosis, its terms, the designation of the disability group and the hospital stay are determined solely by the employees of the psycho-neurological clinic, without the intervention of law enforcement agencies. Upon the expiration of the rehabilitation period (if this is possible and the mental defect is recoverable), an extract from the medical institution occurs after notifying the court, re-meeting and deciding on the basis of what conditions a person is released from compulsory hospitalization.