Schizophrenia and Childhood Adversity

From the American Journal of Psychiatry we have another study supporting childhood trauma, and not just sexual trauma as reported the other day as being causative in schizophrenia. Here is an excerpt:

Recently, researchers have found a range of adverse events in childhood to be significant risk factors for developing psychotic symptoms and/or being diagnosed with schizophrenia, even after controlling for family history of psychosis or schizophrenia in some cases. These adverse events include early loss of a parent; parental poverty; bullying; witnessing parental violence; emotional, sexual, or physical abuse; physical or emotional neglect; and insecure attachment (2, 3)….

…While it can be tempting to ignore childhood adversity, out of fear of being accused of family-blaming, many childhood adversities occur outside the family and those that occur within families tend to be intergenerational and are therefore areas in which many families need assistance. Indeed, we were pleased to see the implications for prevention mentioned in the editorial. We also feel that it is important to note that one environmental enrichment program for children ages 3 to 5 years reduced schizotypal personality scores in adulthood (5). read the whole article here

Oh that we might be seeing the end of crude and cruel biopsychiatry.

Since I began my work with those labeled mentally ill it’s been clear that trauma plays a large part in the lives of most of those with psychiatric labels. This blog covers this reality again and again. This simple observation that many of us have made and many others want to deny is beginning to be largely supported in the literature and science. We deny it at a cost to everyone in our abusive and traumatic culture. By bringing it to light we might change it. We might also treat the vulnerable who get labeled mentally ill as they are, traumatized people who need gentle loving care. Something not on offer in most psychiatric wards and mental health systems. In fact most people get grossly re-traumatized in such settings.

A few posts on Beyond Meds that look at how childhood trauma affects mental and physical health for one’s whole life:

●  The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study

●  Childhood trauma once again linked to mental health issues in adulthood

●  The Toxic Stress of Early Childhood Adversity (trauma)

●  The legacy of childhood trauma

●  PTSD versus a post traumatic response

●  Generational pain

Updated 8/2012

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