Bristol Researchers Find Link Between Childhood Trauma and Psychotic Experiences

Bristol Research Childhood Trauma and Psychotic Experiences:

Trauma during childhood and later life psychotic experiences could be linked, Bristol researchers say.

Researchers at the University of Bristol used longitudinal data from the Children of the 90s project, concluding that between 25 and 60 per cent of young people who had experienced psychotic episodes would not have developed these if they had not been exposed to trauma as a child.

Researchers classed things like hearing voices of experiencing paranoia as psychotic experiences. And, bullying, domestic violence or emotional neglect as a child as trauma.

The data came from the 4,433 participants who had clinical interviews and attended clinics at the age of 18.

The research is the first to examine links between different types of trauma during childhood and later psychotic experiencing with the findings published in JAMA Psychiatry

PHD student in the Centre for Academic Mental Health Jazz Croft said: “As around five per cent of the population have psychotic experiences at some point in their life, and these often lead to further mental health issues, it is important that we understand more about the role trauma has in increasing this risk.

“I wanted to look at traumatic experiences during childhood using Children of the 90s data because it allowed us to answer questions about the timing and type of trauma that previous studies have not been able to examine comprehensively.”

“The findings support that routine screening for psychotic experiences in children or young people exposed to trauma, particularly those exposed to frequent occurrences, should be considered as a way of preventing later mental health problems. Understanding how trauma leads to psychotic experiences could lead to the development of more novel treatments for psychosis.”

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