This webinar on Anosognosia: Clinical and Forensic Implications is presented by Jerrod Brown, PhD.
Anosognosia is a condition where a person genuinely lacks insight or awareness of the fact that they suffer from a disorder, disease, or disability. This is distinct from denial, as the symptoms of the person’s condition may limit or prevent thought processes that would enable the conscious choice of denial. Anosognosia has been observed among those with a history of strokes, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, mood disorders (e.g., depression and bipolar disorder), and traumatic brain injuries. Regardless of the condition, such a lack of insight or unawareness can contribute to both behavioral and memory problems.
Behavioral problems could include impulsivity, obsessions, compulsions, aggression, and self- harm. Memory problems may include short- and long-term memory impairments along with a vulnerability to confabulation. Together, the consequences of anosognosia can (a) increase the risk of criminal justice-involvement and (b) undermine a person’s capacity to participate in the legal and mental health systems. The seriousness of criminal justice consequences and mental health treatment compliance issues emphasize the importance of advanced training on anosognosia among clinical, forensic, and criminal justice professionals.