It is very common for women in Turkey diagnosed with schizophrenia to have experienced one or more traumatic experiences in adulthood, according to a study in Comprehensive Psychiatry. “Previously, research aiming to investigate the effects of interpersonal traumatic experiences on psychotic symptoms mainly focused on adverse experiences in childhood,” stated the team of Turkish researchers about the significance of their findings.
Led by Munevver Hacioglu of Istanbul’s Bakirkoy Hospital, the researchers interviewed 70 consecutive female patients who were diagnosed at the hospital with schizophrenia and who reported no experiences of childhood trauma. Though they did not compare the numbers to those occurring in the Turkish population, the researchers found that as adults 81.4% of the female patients had experienced physical abuse, 78.6% emotional abuse, 28.5% sexual harassment, and 24.4% sexual abuse. They also found that certain symptoms were more strongly present in those women who’d experienced a history of sexual harassment or sexual abuse, including “hallucinations, blunted affect, emotional withdrawal hostility, and anxiety.”
“We concluded that traumatic life events and exposure to violence was common among female patients with schizophrenia, and sexual trauma in adulthood was associated with particular clinical symptoms,” the researchers wrote.
The Relatıonshıp Between Adulthood Traumatıc Experıences and Psychotıc Symptoms in Female Patıents wıth Schızophrenıa (Hacioglu, Munevver et al. Comprehensive Psychiatry. Published Online Ahead of Print August 22, 2014. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.comppsych.2014.08.049)