Schizophrenia is one of the prime manifestations of psychosis where the patient in question generally loses touch with reality. On this ground, scientists from the University of Liverpool have revealed that kids suffering from trauma could develop schizophrenia as they grow up.
Approximately 27,000 medical reports were analyzed to understand this link better. The team found that children who experienced severe trauma below the age of 16 apparently had 3 folds higher chances of developing schizophrenia as adults. This correlation was not apparent in people unaffected by any kind of adversity.
Professor Richard Bentall, from the University’s Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, commented, “The causes of psychotic disorders, particularly schizophrenia, are a source of controversy amongst psychiatrists, psychologists and doctors. There is also disagreement about how the disorders are defined. It’s not unusual, for example, for a patient to be diagnosed with schizophrenia by one psychiatrist, but as bipolar by another.”
The investigators also revealed that distinct traumas led to different symptoms. In other words, child abuse caused hallucinations, while staying in an orphanage was associated with paranoia. Of late, the genetic basis of various psychiatric conditions has surfaced out. Experts in this study urged psychologists and health care practitioners to consider patients’ life experiences along with their genetic predispositions while providing them a diagnosis.
Understanding how the immature brain is influenced by trauma is the first step. After which, gauging if certain genes increase the susceptibility or courage of facing such mind complications is important. The report is published in the recent issue of the journal, Schizophrenia Bulletin.