Far be it from me –

Childhood Trauma As A Risk Factor for Psychosis

on March 15, 2012

It is well documented that children who experience difficulties in childhood are at increased risk for various negative mental health outcomes. In the last decade many population based studies have suggested that childhood trauma is a risk factor for psychosis. The link is now well accepted. What do we mean by childhood trauma? Emotional abuse, physical abuse, general abuse, sexual abuse and physical neglect.

Possible pathways are the relationships between negative perception of the self and negative affect, and biological mechanisms such as dysregulated cortisol (a stress hormone) and increased sensitivity to stress. Psychotic patients with a history of childhood trauma tend to have post traumatic stress disorder, high levels of depression and anxiety and are responsible for more suicide attempts.

Children who have been abused are more likely to seek abusive partners as adults as they unconsciously repeat pattens of the past. They are likely to have very low self esteem and be non assertive.

Statistics show that 1 in 4 of us will experience mental health problems; our children are at risk – nearly 12 million of them. That’s why it’s vital that the government provides adequate mental health services for children. Currently only half of all local authorities provide mental health services for children and this is due to government cuts. Recently the government pledged £22m for children’s mental health services but frankly this is a drop in the ocean. If we fail our children and do not protect their mental health we are looking at a ticking time bomb.

The greatest gift you can give to a child is to listen. Not medicate, label and ignore, but listen to what they have to tell you.

The government has to review its spending on children’s mental health or the consequences will be catastrophic.

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14 responses to “Childhood Trauma As A Risk Factor for Psychosis

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  5. Hi very informative and a powerful message I’m luck to have survived so much. I cry out there are many Paul’s. each time Paul was abused/traumatised a new Paul cry’ed out. (Someone help,Please ‘HELP’ This the 54 year old first traumatised as a ‘THREE YEAR OLD’.

    I never saught abusive partners but my did they find me and how one of them so shockingly abused more than just me.

    Please save our children. I’m a perfect example of the wasted life of a child victim with multiple hidden traumas that go unsupported to this day.

    Paul Davidson.

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  6. […] Childhood Trauma As A Risk Factor for Psychosis (judithhaire.com) […]

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  7. […] Childhood Trauma As A Risk Factor for Psychosis (judithhaire.com) […]

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  8. Chrisa says:

    Is it wrong for me to feel empty that another theory doesn’t work out to tell me how my son developed childhood onset schizoaffective disorder? Ugh. I have two adopted children, one that did experience early childhood trauma before we adopted her at age 4, and one we brought home a day old from the hospital. The one with psychosis isn’t the one at risk for it, according to this research.

    Some days, I just really need an answer, you know?

    Like

  9. chrisahickey says:

    Is it wrong for me to feel empty that another theory doesn\’t work out to tell me how my son developed childhood onset schizoaffective disorder? Ugh. I have two adopted children, one that did experience early childhood trauma before we adopted her at age 4, and one we brought home a day old from the hospital. The one with psychosis isn\’t the one at risk for it, according to this research.

    Some days, I just really need an answer, you know?

    Like

    • judithhaire says:

      Yes I am constantly looking for answers. This research only identifies childhood trauma as a risk factor. It’s not necessarily the case that every child who experiences trauma becomes psychotic and risk factors are just that, risk factors. I really need answers too and in my own case this theory fits. I hope you go on to find an answer. Kind regards and thank you for leaving a comment, Judith

      Like

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