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Understanding the Link between Sadness and Violence

Apr 25, 2023 | Abuse, Depression, Intrusive Thoughts, Mental Health, Suicide, Trauma

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a study with findings that indicate a rise in violence due to increased sadness among individuals, particularly teen girls in the United States. The study reports that teen girls are experiencing a record high when it comes to levels of violence, suicidal ideation, and sadness. This is a concerning trend, and it highlights the importance of understanding the link between sadness and violence in order to properly address this prevalent issue.

Sadness is a natural human emotion that we all experience from time to time. This feeling of unhappiness is often due to an event or circumstance in our lives and can be triggered by various factors, such as a loss of a loved one, a job loss, or a breakup. While sadness is a normal emotion, it can become problematic when it persists for a prolonged period and starts to impact an individual’s mental and physical health.

The CDC report highlights that the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed significantly to the rise in both sadness and violence. The pandemic dramatically increased isolation, financial difficulties, and loss of loved ones, leading to a rise in sadness among individuals of all ages. This prolonged period of sadness has had severe consequences, which has led to an increase in mental health disorders like depression and anxiety.

Factors Impacting Violence

The link between sadness and violence is complex and multifaceted, meaning there is no single way to explain the relationship. There are several different factors that contribute to this link, including the impact of prolonged sadness on an individual’s mental health, the availability of weapons, and the environment in which an individual lives. Additionally, if they have a pre-existing mental health disorder, like depression, their risk for violence is increased. These disorders can impact an individual’s decision-making ability, leading to impulsive behavior and a higher likelihood of engaging in violent behavior.

Proximity To Weapons: The availability of weapons also plays a significant role in the link between sadness and violence. Research has shown that the presence of weapons in the home increases the likelihood of violent behavior drastically. This is particularly true when individuals are experiencing prolonged sadness or are dealing with mental health disorders. It is essential to keep weapons out of the reach of individuals who are at risk of engaging in violent behavior. On top of this, keeping them locked up safely is another crucial way to keep those experiencing sadness safe.

Living Situation and Location: The environment in which individuals live also plays a critical role in the link between sadness and violence. Those who live in environments with high levels of violence, poverty, and social unrest are significantly more likely to engage in violent behavior. Additionally, individuals who lack adequate access to mental health resources or experience discrimination may also be more likely to engage in violent behavior.

Underlying Causes: It is also important to address the underlying causes of sadness and mental health disorders, such as poverty, social unrest, and discrimination. These issues can have a significant impact on an individual’s mental and physical health, leading to prolonged sadness and a higher risk of engaging in violent behavior. Addressing these issues requires a concerted effort from policymakers, community leaders, and individuals. 

It is essential to recognize that sadness is a natural emotion that we all experience, and it is okay to ask for help when needed. By working together, we can create a healthier, safer, and more compassionate world for all.

Ways To Decrease Incidence Of Sadness

To address the link between sadness and violence, it is essential to take a multifaceted approach. To get started, it is crucial to provide access to mental health resources and support for individuals experiencing prolonged sadness or mental health disorders. This can include counseling, therapy, and medication management. Additionally, it is essential to reduce access to weapons and provide education on safe storage practices.

Additionally, addressing the social determinants of health, including poverty, social unrest, and discrimination, is critical in reducing violence. This can involve implementing policies that promote economic stability and access to healthcare and education. 

Finally, it is essential to promote awareness and education around this disturbing trend. This can involve providing education on healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with sadness and mental health disorders. It is also crucial to provide education on the dangers of violent behavior and the consequences that can result from engaging in such behavior. 

Schools can provide this education as well as work to foster a sense of closeness and community within their walls. Since teenagers spend the vast majority of their time at school, educators hold a significant amount of power when it comes to fighting the hopelessness and sadness their students are feeling.

Promoting Health Coping Mechanisms

Establishing healthy coping mechanisms through the promotion of self-care practices is another powerful way to help teens decrease their feelings of sadness. Proper self-care involves taking deliberate actions to care for one’s physical, emotional, and mental well-being. This usually includes activities like exercise, meditation, spending time in nature, practicing mindfulness, and engaging in creative pursuits. By promoting self-care practices, teens can develop healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with sadness and stress, reducing the likelihood of engaging in violent behavior.

Community-Based Interventions

Another way to help decrease the sense of hopelessness teens are feeling is by promoting community-based interventions. Community-based interventions involve working with local organizations, community leaders, and individuals to develop programs and initiatives aimed at reducing violence and promoting mental health. These interventions can include activities such as community building, mental health screenings, counseling services, and mentorship programs. By involving the community in addressing the link between sadness and violence, individuals can feel a sense of ownership and responsibility for promoting healthy behaviors and reducing violence.


How New Dimensions Can Help

One powerful way to address the link between sadness, mental health disorders, and violence is through seeking professional help. New Dimensions is a drug, alcohol, and mental health treatment center that could play a crucial role in providing individuals with the tools and resources needed to cope with sadness and other mental health issues.

New Dimensions offers a variety of programs and services aimed at promoting mental health, which invariably helps prevent violent behavior. By working with trained mental health professionals, individuals can develop personalized treatment plans that address their specific needs and challenges.

In addition to this, New Dimensions offers support for families and loved ones affected by mental health disorders through their affiliate MHThrive. Family therapy and support groups can be instrumental in promoting healthy communication and understanding, reducing the likelihood of conflict and violence.  To learn more visit or

The link between sadness and violence is a concerning trend that needs to be addressed quickly. To address this issue, a multifaceted approach is needed, including providing access to mental health resources and support, reducing access to weapons, addressing the social determinants of health, and promoting awareness and education. By taking these steps, we can work towards reducing the incidence of violence and promoting healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with sadness and mental health disorders.