Homicidal ideation involves imagining physically killing another person. Such thoughts may be temporary following the experience of acute stress or perceived provocation. In other cases, thoughts of wanting to kill others may be pervasive, detailed, and associated with heightened arousal. Persistent homicidal ideation may provide a sense of relief from negative emotional experiences that maintains the harmful cognitions over time. It is useful to distinguish homicidal thoughts and ideation from other cognitions comprising violent content. Daydreams or fantasies about violence are similar, involving thoughts of wanting to harm others, but death of a target is not necessarily evident. Homicidal ideation can be distinguished from beliefs and attitudes toward violence. The latter refer to how an individual feels about acts of violence, circumstances under which ...

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