A new study has found a strong link between childhood trauma and schizophrenia. Researchers claim that the new findings could offer people suffering from the disease effective and tailored treatments previously used to treat victims of childhood abuse.
Researchers revealed that childhood sexual, physical, and emotional abuse are associated with severe symptoms such as detachment from reality, delusions, hallucinations, lack of motivation or emotions in schizophrenic patients and other psychotic disorders.
The study, which was published in the journal, Schizophrenia Bulletin, analyzed data from 29 studies which focused on childhood trauma and psychotic symptoms. Researchers found that childhood sexual abuse had an impact on the severity of delusions.
More so, the study found that hallucinations in schizophrenia patients were associated with all types of childhood trauma.
“This means there is something about childhood trauma that leads some people to develop hallucinations,” said lead author, Sarah Bendall, a research fellow at the University of Melbourne in Australia.
Dr. Bendall claims that such evidence is a crucial step in developing tailored and effective treatments for trauma-based psychotic symptoms. In addition, the new findings could help empower young patients and help medical experts detect psychotic symptom as soon as they emerge.
Researchers said that around one in every 100 people will experience a psychotic disorder in their lives. Most of these people will experience such symptoms at 18-25 years old, according to the study.
Psychotic symptoms usually involve detachment from reality, hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thinking and lack of motivation or emotion.
Dr. Bendall believes that patients who exhibit such symptoms could benefit from the findings as they would be able to identify the factors that may have caused their psychosis to develop and continue.
Current treatments for trauma psychosis focus on post-traumatic stress disorder rather than specific symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations.
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