A recent meta review of over 100 studies, published in Neuropsychiatry (February 2014), examines the relationship between childhood trauma and psychosis in adult and children. Understanding the source of mental illness, is important if we are to provide effective schizophrenia treatment and effective treatment for other mental health challenges.
If the source of mental illness for an individual, at least in part, a result of trauma or other childhood abuse, effective treatment for the mental illness may require psychotherapy to address the trauma or abuse.
What is the traumagenic neurodevelopmental model?
For some time, scientists have been accumulating evidence that childhood adversities are risk factors for psychosis. The traumagenic neurodevelopmental model sought to integrate biological and psychological research. This model highlighted the similarities between abnormalities, structural and functional, in the brains of abused children and adults diagnosed with “schizophrenia”.
Are childhood experiences related to mental health problems?
Trauma in childhood (childhood adversity) plays a causal role in most mental health problems experienced by children and by adults. Some of the problems related to early trauma include, for children, conduct disorder, ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder. Mental health problems that adults experience that may have a childhood trauma component include depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, sexual dysfunction, personality disorder, dissociative disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and substance misuse.
Should your mental health therapist ask about childhood trauma?
The article recommends:
all clients of mental health services, including those diagnosed schizophrenic or psychotic, should be asked about childhood abuse, neglect, bullying and loss to facilitate meaningful formulations (integrating psychological and biological processes) and comprehensive treatment plans…
Individuals experiencing psychosis should be offered evidence-based psychological therapies designed to address the social causes of their difficulties…
You can read the whole article, The traumagenic neurodevelopmental model of psychosis revisited, by clicking here.
Isn’t medication good enough? Why is psychotherapy part of effective schizophrenia treatment?
It is surely the case that mental illness often has a biological component. It is almost certainly true that childhood abuse, neglect and loss have biological concomitants. It is also the case, however, that biological changes indicative of a brain disease can have a stront basis in life history. It may well be the case the treatment path that works best, in many cases, is not a treatment that is exclusively medication-based or predominantly medication-based.
It may be that brain changes created by childhood abuse, neglect and loss can be reversed, at least in part. Recent studies suggest
that psychotherapy can effect changes in the brain and how both children and adults respond to stress.
Consider psychotherapy as part of your plan for schizophrenia treatment and for effective treatment of other disorders
Reach out to Eric Buck today. Get more information and guidance in incorporating psychotherapy as part of your plan for schizophrenia treatment.
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