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Childhood Trauma and Psychosis: Mechanisms, Symptom Profiles, Outcome, and Treatment
Ruud Van Winkel
Childhood trauma is one of the most extensively studied environmental risk factors for psychosis. In this symposium, several features of the trauma-psychosis link will be discussed.
First, an overview of possible mediating psychological mechanisms, such as insecure attachment and dissociation, including targeted treatment options, will be presented.
Next, a study of the long-term (10 years) outcome in psychotic disorder patients, contrasting trauma-exposed and non-exposed patients, will be presented. Even though trauma exposure was associated with remission within 6 months, patients who had experienced abuse had a higher risk for self-harm, suicide attempts, and more severe symptoms.
Then, findings of specific symptom profiles, including psychosis, depression, anxiety, and mania, associated with trauma exposure, are discussed. These mixed symptom profiles, together with a poor functional outcome, suggest that stratifying patients according to childhood trauma history may increase prognostic accuracy and have clinical implications in terms of treatment options.
The last presenter will discuss a new clinical trial, involving trauma treatment (Prolonged Exposure [PE], and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing [EMDR]) in psychotic disorder patients with posttraumatic stress disorder. Findings from this study indicate that standard PE and EMDR protocols appear to be effective, safe and feasible in patients with psychosis.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.