61% of people with early psychotic episodes have experienced childhood trauma
Childhood trauma, caused by factors such as emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, or physical and emotional neglect, can lead to severe mental disorders, including early psychotic episodes.
Under this premise, the research "Prevalence and types of childhood trauma in first episode psychosis patients. Relation with clinical onset variables", published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, by Regina Vila, predoctoral researcher, and led by Dr. Judith Usall, co-coordinator of the Ethiopathogenesis and Treatment of Severe Mental Disorders (MERITT) research group at the Institut de Recerca Sant Joan de Déu.
The research consists of a longitudinal study focused on the description of sociodemographic factors and variables that may influence the onset and evolution of a first psychotic episode.
A very common risk factor
To carry out this study, they counted on a sample of a control group of 94 people and another one of 100 people diagnosed with a first psychotic episode, the latter being treated at the Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Déu and the SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital.
The study shows that 61% of people who have a first psychotic episode have experienced childhood trauma. In this context, it is a risk factor that greatly influences the development of so-called positive symptoms, such as delusions or hallucinations.
On the other hand, in the control group it was seen that 17% of the participants had also experienced childhood trauma, which indicates that this is a problem quite present in society.
Also, it has been shown that the most common type of trauma at an early age is emotional abuse, and that having a first-degree history of mental health problems and perceived stress at the time of hospital admission is related to having suffered childhood trauma.
"Thanks to this work, there is more awareness of the implications of childhood trauma in the development of a mental disorder" said Regina Vila, a pre-doctoral researcher in the MERITT research group.
"It is a very clear way of detecting the problem; therefore, this research opens doors to determine which are the best therapeutic interventions in this field" adds the researcher.
In short, this study brings us closer to a reality that needs to be kept in mind when making diagnoses and implementing therapeutic processes in mental health, and in early psychotic episodes.
Source of information
61% of people with early psychotic episodes have experienced childhood trauma. Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Déu.
"Thanks to this work, there is more awareness of the implications of childhood trauma in the development of a mental disorder"