Bipolar Disorder: Childhood Trauma Modulates Impact


From Psychiatry Advisor: Childhood trauma modulates the effects of bipolar disorder on the amygdala and hippocampus; it is associated with increased volumes of gray matter.

“‘Childhood maltreatment has been associated with long-term structural and functional brain abnormalities, alterations in neurochemistry and in other neurobiological targets,’ he stressed and added, ‘childhood traumatic events are more frequently reported in patients than in healthy controls, with a high prevalence rate (ie, childhood abuse and neglect have been reported by 51% patients with bipolar disorders).’

Therefore, Dr. Spalletta believes that ‘the assessment of early trauma…should definitively be included in the clinical evaluation of patients with psychiatric disorders.’ In practical terms, he thinks that ‘physicians should have a reference textbook specifically focusing on childhood trauma in psychiatry to properly address a pharmacological/psychotherapeutic/rehabilitative treatment,’ since ‘considering childhood trauma, can, in fact, really make a difference between caring for symptoms and treating psychiatric disorders.'”

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  1. And yet trauma is exactly the one thing that psychiatrists never ask about or do anything about with the “patients”. I was giving a presentation on trauma informed care and one of the very few psychiatrists who “honored” me with his presence (how dare a former patient even think about giving a presentation to clinical staff) told me to my face that “they don’t have time to do any trauma work!” As I stood there looking at him with his smug self-satisfied look on his face I thought to myself, “Yes, you don’t have any time to work with trauma because you’re too busy labeling people and forcing toxic and harmful drugs down their throats.” To them trauma is not important and has no bearing on the “illness” of a “patient” because all of the problems are caused by chemical imbalances and they have just the thing to “treat” “chemical imbalances” with. Trauma is of no importance or significance.

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