Childhood Trauma Connected to Severity of Hallucinations in Ethnic Minorities


The reason that ethnic minorities with psychosis in Norway experience higher levels of severe hallucinations seems to be related to the fact that they also have typically experienced more severe trauma and abuse in their childhoods, according to research in Psychological Medicine.

The Oslo team examined 454 patients with a diagnosis of non-affective or affective psychotic disorder.

“Patients from ethnic minority groups (n = 69) reported significantly more childhood trauma, specifically physical abuse/neglect, and sexual abuse. They had significantly more current hallucinatory behaviour and lifetime symptoms of hearing two or more voices conversing. Regression analyses revealed that the presence of childhood trauma mediated the association between ethnic minorities and hallucinations.”

“More childhood trauma in ethnic minorities with psychosis may partially explain findings of more positive symptoms, especially hallucinations, in this group,” they concluded. “The association between childhood trauma and these first-rank symptoms may in part explain this group’s higher risk of being diagnosed with a schizophrenia-spectrum diagnosis. The findings show the importance of childhood trauma in symptom development in psychosis.”

Berg, A. O., M. Aas, S. Larsson, M. Nerhus, E. Hauff, O. A. Andreassen, and I. Melle. “Childhood Trauma Mediates the Association between Ethnic Minority Status and More Severe Hallucinations in Psychotic Disorder.” Psychological Medicine 45, no. 01 (January 2015): 133–42. doi:10.1017/S0033291714001135. (Abstract)


  1. My research, and personal experience, also implies there are too many doctors who merely claim symptoms or concerns of child abuse are psychosis, even when the patient is experiencing no psychosis.

    I’m certain this is in part because it is very profitable for the medical community to claim a non-psychotic person is psychotic, then create the symptoms of schizophrenia via the central symptoms of neuroleptic induced anticholingeric intoxication syndrome.

    While it is not profitable at all for doctors to get involved in actually helping a person get a child molester arrested and all the other issues related to recovering from such an appalling and traumatic real life experience.

    John Read’s research indicates that 77% of children brought in suffering from symptoms of child abuse are also claimed to be suffering from psychosis, while only 10% of non-abused children get a label of psychosis.

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  2. Recent research, e.g. Colin Ross (2009) on page 564 in ‘Dissociation and the dissociative disorders: beyond DSM-V’ shows that Schneider’s First Rank Positive Symptoms erroneously considered key indicators for Schizophrenia actually have superior sensitivity and specificity as diagnostic criteria for DID. Schneider’s research leading to his proclamation was with sex workers many of whom will have experienced sever trauma. Hearing voices consequently is first and foremost a dissociative symptom conversing with ‘alters’ that resulted from abuse, neglect and trauma. Individuals experiencing such voices could benefit from trauma therapy and help with self-acceptance. Medication does the opposite!

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    • Nichiren,

      Exactly, the “Medication does the opposite!” My experience was a child’s dose of Risperdal caused my (an adult’s) first ever “psychosis.” And then massive neuroleptic tranquilization to cover up that medically confessed “Foul up” with the Risperdal, gave me “voices” – via what I’ve learned is the central symptom of neuroleptic induced anticholinergic intoxication syndrome. The “voices” were those of the people who’d unjustly abused my children … but I was eventually handed over medical evidence of the child abuse, so I now know it did happen.

      Thankfully, I was weaned off these horrendous crazy making drugs. But I did suffer from a drug withdrawal super sensitivity induced “manic psychosis.” Which for me was an awakening to the story of my dreams or subconscious. And, if you research into spirituality, this is not actually a bad thing. In my case, it helped me to further understand artwork I’d done decades previously, it was an equating of my conscious and subconscious self, and an understanding that all souls are connected, which the eastern religions believe is enlightenment.

      A subsequent western religion pastor was later kind enough to confess to me that utilizing psychiatric stigmatization, tranquilization, and poisoning is historically, and obviously still, how the western religions cover up child abuse. He also stated it’s historically how the incompetent doctors have, and are obviously still, proactively preventing potential malpractice suits.

      Utilization of the psychiatric drugs to harm innocent people for the “dirty little secret of the two original educated professions”was and is no longer acceptable behavior. And I have no doubt God knows what such hypocritical doctors and religious criminals are doing.

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