New Study Finds Connection Between Childhood Trauma and Psychosis

A new study sheds new light on the profound impact of childhood trauma in the development of psychotic symptoms, particularly in treatment-resistant cases of schizophrenia.

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The relationship between childhood trauma and later development of psychotic symptoms has received increasing attention in recent years. A new study published in Schizophrenia Bulletin Open examines this relationship further, specifically looking at cases of schizophrenia that are treatment-resistant. The authors found a correlation between childhood adversity and psychotic symptoms, especially hallucinations. They recommend that treatment for psychosis, which traditionally has avoided trauma-related work, incorporate approaches that directly address traumatic experiences.

The authors, led by Robert Dudley of the Early Intervention Psychosis Service, NHS Foundation Trust, and University of York, write:

“Early adversity such as childhood neglect (CN) or abuse is associated with an increased risk of a range of mental health issues including psychosis… early adversity was strongly associated with increased risk for psychosis and that people with schizophrenia are 2.72 times more likely to have experienced adverse childhood events than healthy individuals. Evidence supports a causal role as longitudinal studies indicate early adversity precedes the onset of psychosis.”

Childhood experiences of abuse and neglect have been shown to lead to increased risk for later development of psychotic symptoms, which can include “positive” symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions, and “negative” symptoms, such as lack of emotional expression.

Existing research has shown that individuals experiencing psychosis with histories of childhood maltreatment are more likely to experience severe symptoms that are not responsive to medications or therapies. Psychiatric literature refers to these forms of psychosis as “Treatment Resistant Schizophrenia” (TRS) or “Treatment Resistant Psychosis” (TRP). They are defined in terms of lack of responsiveness to at least two forms of antipsychotic medication, with the atypical antipsychotic drug clozapine being offered as a last resort due to its potentially dangerous side effects.

Research literature interested in cognitive understandings of psychosis has also investigated the role that negative beliefs about self and others brought on by childhood adversity play in the development of symptoms such as paranoia and delusions. While some have found relationships between negative beliefs about self and others, childhood abuse and neglect, and paranoia or other psychotic symptoms later in life, the research findings so far have been inconsistent.

In an attempt to further the research base on the correlations between psychosis, childhood adversity, and negative beliefs, Dudley and colleagues collected data from 292 participants who were part of a larger trial aimed at assessing the efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for Clozapine-Resistant Schizophrenia (CRS). The majority of participants were white (90%), male (approximately 72%), unemployed (83%), had a diagnosis of schizophrenia (87%), and 90% were prescribed clozapine.

The researchers used a variety of questionnaires and rating scales to gather information on participants’ experiences of childhood adversity, psychotic symptoms, and core beliefs about self and others. Then, they conducted statistical analyses to examine their data.

Dudley and colleagues found that the level of abuse and neglect endorsed by the participants was similar to levels reported in other research involving psychosis and childhood trauma, providing additional support for the connections between childhood trauma and later development of psychosis. Consistent with the research literature, female participants reported high levels of severe sexual and emotional abuse.

Overall, adversity was found to be related to higher levels of psychotic symptoms across the board. Looking closer, positive symptoms, such as hallucinations, were found to be more influenced by past experiences of childhood adversity. Researchers also found a relationship between childhood abuse and neglect and negative beliefs about self and others. Although most of the relationships found by researchers were modest correlations, their findings are broadly consistent with other research that has found that childhood trauma can lead to individuals with psychosis experiencing distressing symptoms.

Given the support for the relationship between childhood adversity and later development of treatment-resistant psychotic symptoms, Dudley and colleagues conclude by recommending that further exploration into the use of trauma-focused therapies, such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), in the treatment of psychosis to address the underlying issues of trauma that contribute to it. Another recent study also arrived at similar conclusions, pointing to how trauma therapies, including EMDR, can be effectively used in the treatment of psychosis.

Limitations of the study include a lack of information regarding the specifics of the traumas experienced, such as nature, duration, and frequency, as well as how participants perceived the impact of trauma on their lives. Additionally, the sample consisted of predominantly white men, leading to questions about whether the results would be generalizable to other populations.

Further research involving more diverse populations, especially people of color, is necessary, especially given the impact that oppression and marginalization have been shown to have on the development and treatment of psychosis. Research elsewhere has pointed to the role that racism and structural inequalities play in the development and increased risk of psychosis, as well as how these systemic inequalities negatively affect psychosis treatment itself.

Current understandings of psychosis rely heavily on a biological model, which emphasizes brain and genetic-based understandings of psychosis and its symptoms. However, it has been critiqued for explaining very little about how a person comes to develop schizophrenia. Additionally, a recent study found that genetic risk for the development of schizophrenia becomes less important as more traumatic events are experienced, contradicting the diathesis-stress model, which assumes that genetic risk plus traumatic events can lead to psychosis.

The pushback and mounting research evidence against biological models of understanding has paved the way for alternative, less pathologizing ways of understanding psychosis through a recognition that experiences of psychosis are nuanced and vary for each individual. Others have urged for non-pathologizing and interdisciplinary approaches to understanding psychosis, and peer support groups such as Hearing Voices have been shown to hold many benefits, including fostering human connection and respecting lived experience.

Dudley and colleagues, alongside others, contribute to this growing and important body of work by providing further research support for the recognition of the role trauma plays in the development of psychosis, which allows for increased movement away from biological understandings.

 

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Dudley, R., Turkington, D., Coulthard, N., Pyle, M., Gumley, A., Schwannauer, M., Kingdon, D., Morrison, A. P. (2023). Childhood trauma in clozapine-resistant schizophrenia: Prevalence, and relationship with symptoms. Schizophrenia Bulletin Open, 4(1). https://doi.org/10.1093/schizbullopen/sgad030 (Link)

52 COMMENTS

  1. This is not a new idea. When I was 11 my eldest brother Michael started having psychotic episodes and wound up in Yale psych ward where the doctor’s accused my parents of abusing him. My parents vehemently denied it (they did abuse him and all of their children).

    At one point, myself and my older brother and sister (I was the youngest. Michael was the oldest) were taking into a room by a female psychiatrist where she looked at us children very sternly and ask what was going on at home. My sister, who was the oldest of the three of us, said “Nothing is going on. Everything is fine.” I started to cry. My sister told the doctor I had a cold. The psychiatrist said, “Do you have a cold or are you crying?”. Then the meeting ended. I could tell the Dr didn’t believe my sister but nothing happened. The overarching emotion was fear. There was no comfort from these people. I was eleven but I was treated like a criminal, someone to be interrogated.
    For years afterward every time I needed a tissue when I was in my sister’s presence, she would start laughing saying, do you have a cold or are you crying?

    The doctors at Yale accusing my parents of abuse did absolutely nothing to help the situation. They made it a thousand times worse while at the same time they forced Michael on to Haldol and when he had a dystonic reaction they said that he was faking it. They never appointed a social worker or visited the home or did anything except accuse, charge ridiculous fees (this was the 70s. Nothing was covered.) and drug Michael. If they believed it was an abuse issue why didn’t they respond accordingly?

    This is not a new idea. The only new thing would be if anybody was prepared finally to do something about it. It’s just rediscovered every 40 or 50 years that trauma and abuse lead to so-called mental illness? And then it’s buried. And then we go through this whole cycle again while everything gets worse, generations of trauma and ruined lives. Has no one considered before that trauma and abuse leads to problems later in life? I don’t understand why this is being framed as a brand new idea. “More research is needed”…. right.

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    • If that was the case, more of you would have been affected. I agree with you when you say it’s not a new idea, they’re crediting where credit is not due. I know multiple people with Schizophrenia and psychosis. It’s very unfortunate that these people this so highly of themselves and are choosing to go down a wrong path.

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    • Wow! No one should have to go through that, especially a child! I hope you finally found the ” soft shoulder” you needed. And some real help. I also had a ” wonderful” childhood, I will be 70 soon and I am still working through the scars. Hang in there.

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      • Thank you. I never found that. Got denied treatment multiple times as a suicidal teen, kicked out of the house, wound up pregnant and still didn’t get help, just more abuse, called a bitch every day in the locked ward of Bridgeport hospital where I spent my pregnancy, then I was homeless again, I passed all of it to another generation so I have to live with the guilt and shame along with the anger of what was done to me. I want to die every day. My adult child is disabled and tells me he wants to die every day. There is no help.

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        • Kate, no don’t blame yourself. A note that may seem sarcastic, but might just be too true: If they actually had given you “help” and got you to fit into this dysfunctional society, what chance is there that this would have been “better.” You might be better off not having gotten any “help.”

          That’s awful you were called “Bitch” all the time pregnant, as if you were supposed to deny any articulate knowledge of what actually was going on. You of course didn’t join in with their fabricated delusional world. “Why won’t she join our PARTY, the BITCH!?”

          No you’re not going to get help from there.

          Trust life. That’s more real than they are, in fact in contrast perhaps they aren’t to begin with…..

          They won’t listen, anyway. They’ll have to get it at some point before infinity ends (300 years 3000… who knows).. so again trust life. Don’t waste your time and energy being mad at them if you can avoid it, it you can’t just let yourself feel it, and it should go away, since the discomfort is trying to not feel it. Or find something else to do, you’re worth it….

          Life is designed to in the end let the light come through (even with “those” people despite it seems impossible, since “don’t even mention the truth”), no matter how people resist it. In the end something beyond our “rational” minds takes care of things, but there we’re back into what they call “crazy….”

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        • I know it is no comfort, it won’t provide a meaningfull sense of relief, but one cannot be responsible for things outside one’s control, above and beyond what one can reasonably and rationally “do” then, with the knowledge, now called information, one had then, not with the “info” one has now.

          Even calling it a mistake implies somehow one was fully aware of the consequences of one’s decisions in a forcefull, inevitable kind of way, and could act upon it differently…

          Like if one knew why things were supposed to happen the way they did. Fully, all alternatives considered, and implies, one knew all alternatives available, it’s requisites, it’s costs, and it’s benefits. Like a machine doing a strictly rational calculation.

          That is impossible, was before, and as far as I guess will in the, at least immediate future.

          Responsability and guilt are limited in that sense: our decisions will always stand on limited knowledge grounds.

          Sometimes deliberately made so, like from practitioners of psychiatry…

          How does that apply to each and everyone of us?. Beats me, as stated, it cannot be generalized, I guess beyond that: principles.

          As for the things we didn’t knew then?, well, that’s why we have each other: to tells us, resptectfully and appreciative what we don’t know.

          And if WE, we, are left alone to decide, then, how?, how?, are we, we, to be fully aware of THAT, that, we didn’t know, if no one tolds us?.

          I hope it helps.

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    • “The only new thing would be if anybody was prepared finally to do something about it.” I agree 100%. I now know that my experience of altered states was rooted in my childhood trauma that I denied for many years. It is sad that this information comes out and it seems there really is nothing that can be done about it on a larger, systemic scale. As long as there is big pharma and marketing campaigns, and as long as our society operates in such a way that does not support an individual’s rest, grieving, or healing, and the time it takes to go through that process, I don’t see anything changing, unless it is on a case by case basis with practitioners.

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      • I agree, Elisabeth. I think it’s very common for people to not recognize that they experienced childhood trauma. Between the memories being “blocked out” to protect the child/allow for survival and the societal strictures against speaking about it, sometimes it takes decades to even recognize it for what it was.

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          • But, me, honestly, sometimes, kids are way more resilient that the discourse gives them credit for.

            Some kids survive and thrive of/on things even us adults would collapse under of..

            That does not mean that for their benefit it is a, o, ok.

            Contrary, it means if they are, uuuugh, resilient, to me, means: “don’t push it, they are better than us. Why on earth put them through that?”.

            Don’t they deserve a better chance we did, given they are better than us?.

            And, surely, aren’t they better than us?. Even if they, to some, don’t look like it?.

            Is it not just the hope, the aspiration that it can be better, enough, to see it that way, through that lens?.

            They can be, and if we perhaps will, will be better than us…

            Regardless of the outcome, at the end.

            They do deserve better than us. They will, perhaps, if we DO, decide better than us?. They deserve better than that!.

            We all do, we all did.

            We owe them that, at least, to them, for them.

            Since there will be no one else, but them, not even us…

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  2. By the time I wound up at Yale, the trauma of my childhood meant nothing to anyone. I was just a borderline who needed heavy duty polypharmacy, “coping skills”, and to stop wasting their time. They were so abusive. They didn’t even bother to take a family history and just got busy shocking my brain.

    How is it that the idea that having a terrible childhood can cause mental/emotional problems later on is a revolutionary idea? This is all hopeless and depressing. Is it a way to avoid having to actually change anything?

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    • It’s not a revolutionary idea at all. It’s an idea that was fairly common in allied mental health circles until 1980, the year the DSM lll was published, the intent being to change the narrative (brainwash) people into accepting its brand new “medical model”.

      It was a cleverly disguised power grab that psychiatry has no intention of ever truly changing, which really doesn’t matter, because the rest of the world is…

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  3. A child’s developing brain and budding sense of self is formed primarily by the environment into which it is born and reared. The psychic resources needed to cope with adversity are not yet present. Traumatic experiences are subsequently buried deep within the psyche to surface later in life as psychosis. The retreat from reality (psychosis) is an adaptive (survival) response to unbearable and unprocessed emotional pain.

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  4. … “Treatment Resistant Schizophrenia” (TRS) or “Treatment Resistant Psychosis” (TRP). They are defined in terms of lack of responsiveness to at least two forms of antipsychotic medication, with the atypical antipsychotic drug clozapine being offered as a last resort due to its potentially
    dangerous side effects.”

    …reinforcing the status quo. I guess that’s the only way to get published? Play the game…let the powers that be (who did a great job convincing the world that people in psychosis are dangerous and need “medicating, against their will if necessary) know that you’re not a real threat.

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  5. This article should not have been published, this is nothing new and it contains false information. Children can have emotional issues from their upbringing but it’s not the cause of Psychosis or Schizophrenia. When you don’t know, it’s not a good idea to guess with such a critical illness. Why do doctors this their awful medication would correct a brain disorder.

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        • And how do you know whatever cause is invoked for a disorder or disease, actually is causing it in THIS patient, when mental disorders are imputed biological, but there is no biological test to prove that in ANY patient with, uuuuh, a mental disorder?.

          Unlike, real medicine, caveats and all…

          And of course, proving causality, assuming mental disorders are not biological has the same problem: prove it!, show me the body!, Habeas Corpus!.

          Claiming with some psychological “framework”, explanation, blah, blah, blah, has the same issue: no gold standard.

          Better case scenario, at a later date, yet another unreproducible, therefore fake, standardized test, like personality tests: Rorschach, MMPI, Hexaco, Myers-Briggs, DSM-5 PID, 5 factors, 16 factors, 6 factors, 4 factors, horoscope, tarot, palm reading, etc…

          And personality, as is character, is a CENTRAL concept in psychology beyond clinical psychology…

          Wikipedia has 29! refered, the first “modern” was “first used” in 1919!, 100 years and not really closer, just “internal validity” has “improved”, Abbot and Costello agreeing MORE now that: yeah, this fellow is a XRYWQ type personality, but in the old scale was a PLEVBN, which definitively now is better…

          But whatever THEY “meassure” is still without weight, without mass, without energy, without momentum, without friction, without time, without movement, no speed, no velocity, no mass, even perhaps no gravity, yada yada yada…

          Mind is anti or agravitic under that light: like the soul… ethereal, unphysicial. Or is it Aphysical? or antiphysical?, like a shy ghost?. “I want ot get it physicial!, yeah yeah”.

          How could that be the subject of “Science”?. For all I know, it might power the UFOs!.

          Not… really… objective… and … therefore … not … scientific…

          Any claim as to mind is ideology, like religion, politics and the like… and claiming different is in itself a cause of suffering… at least to my physicality: my mind hurts just thinking about it…

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  6. As a psychologist, I work with trauma victims, including those who have experienced severe childhood abuses and/or neglect. They dissociate, which can appear to be psychotic to even some professionals. But it is not psychosis; it is dissociation. How much of this “treatment resistance” is DID? Medication doesn’t work, because it’s not psychosis; it’s dissociative, which results commonly through severe childhood abuses and/or neglect. Address dissociation with non-medicinal modalities. and that treatment works.

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    • How do you distinguish in ALL cases dissociation, with NO witness, from retrograde amnesia?.

      You know, like psychogenic fugue, someone popping out in another state without “saying” how or why, from “I honestly don’t remember how I got here” (therefore, strictly speaking that’s not dissociation but amnesia)…

      Even with a witness, transient, infrequent or frequent, temporal-like epilepsy/seizures with postictal change in personality, not meassurable in an EEG, wihich does happen?. How?. Could it be “these” seizures are not meassurable under standard, even sophisticade EEG?. Have we ruled that one out?. You know, they might not “aggregate” or “perturb” whatever normal EEG pattern this individual normally?,has…

      Having no neurological mechanism for dissociation I seriously doubt it can be done…

      How do you distinguish dissociation from a hitherto unknown neurological syndrome?, not disease btw, there are tons of reports of small case series that differ from conventional neurological diseases but without a causal explanation for them. As there are many other “orphan” diseases beyond neurology… hundreds, even perhaps thousands… they just probably don’t have a cause, a proven beyond doubt one, and therefore cannot be called diseases…

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    • Hi RM,
      my wife has DID and I have been trying for 15 years to say the same thing, but no one listens, sigh. We embraced her dissociation, lived in it, learned how to navigate it, and as we tore the dissociative walls down, everything else slowly took care of itself.

      We still aren’t done yet, but at this point we know the drill and it’s just a matter of unwinding the dissociation which is more entrenched the deeper we have gone…but we are still making progress.
      Sam

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      • Respectfully, have you considered your wife has a life in her dreams that is not shared, that is not apparent to you?.

        That sounds esoteric, I admit.

        But, without anyone being explicit enough to me, some folks do have a life in their dreams that it’s beyond what I can comprehend and do dreamy wise.

        Now, that sounds not only esoteric, but irrationaly, superstitious.

        But I’ve bean approached by folks, that after the fact, and some dreams of my own, did, and do, seem to have a dreamy life that is marvelous in it’s own kind of way.

        That is not my way, partially perhaps, not fully, but maybe, without elaborating enough, admitedly, might explain why some fellows do hold strong beliefs about a reality that is inner, and not available to many people!.

        Now, how does that explain a psychosis like behaviour, not experience, stated thus?

        Well, because in my, really, personal experience, some fellows do have an inability, transient, permanent, whatever, to distinguish A dream, or a LOT of dreams, from the for everyone else reality.

        And, aware of that, they don’t talk about it. And it is understandable, being dreamy, it does not come clear. They can’t argue clearly about it, and therefore, it can’t be clearly disproven. Even to prove it, agreement is not enough, it is a dream, fuzzy and more…

        And talking about it can get you psychiatrized in a way you won’t enjoy the real world, the rational world, nor your dreamy world, your outside reality world. So, more for not taking clearly about it*.

        Even if, what if it is in the way too distant future?, or in the too distant past?.

        What then? how is a rational, skeptic individual, as me, to make a rational opinion of a claim based on that?

        That does not mean to me to be dismissive: it is, and will be outside science, and the rationality IT requires.

        But!, it might explain some felllows behaviour, I know, I am certain, even if I can’t prove it, that to me, it explains a lot, and I really mean a lot.

        And I, don’t only respect that, that was a given, I appreciate some fellows have a dreamy life, I couldn’t, I still can’t have…

        Simple as that!.

        And that does not cover awake experiences that are dreamy-like, too fast to be know, to be understood, without a heavy dose of context and interpretation.

        And that could be in the too distant past, or in the too distant future, or in the too fuzzy present.

        Have you have not an intuition you don’t know where it comes from?.

        Now, aware, skeptic and rational explantions for ALL of that are there, but, sometimes, maybe, they are not enough. In the sense, they are not satisfactory, they leave room, somehow, for something else beyond rationality, skepticism and science.

        Who is to judge too forcefully on that?. Really?

        *For over 15yrs, because of assault, mobbing and medications I had no dreams. Having dreams reminded me of how beautifull that can be, really, reading books I didn’t knew existed!, even the Riemann hypothesis!. I rarely had a nightmare since I was 10. Loosing my dreams was awefull, and that was in great part due to psychiatry…

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    • RM, I found your comment a bit dismissive towards people experiencing altered states (“psychosis”), almost as though you wouldn’t mind seeing them hastily thrown under the crushing weight of the Pharmaceutical Bus.

      But whether you do or not, I consider intellectualization a form of dissociation.

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  7. Schizophrenia is classified as a psychotic disorder, but proving the irrationality of labels of mental disorders is the sad fact a schizophrenia diagnosis can be given against someone without psychosis: without hallucinations or delusions.

    How irrational does that sound?. But schizophrenia and related disorders, psychotic disorders, are the golden cow for psychiatrists, the goose with the golden eggs. Without such labels they would not have a job…

    It sounds against reason and for profit, and then some more…

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  8. My Mum & her twin were born in 1944 & raised by British missionary women in St Monica’s Home for Coloured girls in Hillary, Durban. The scanty information that I gleaned was that many of the girls were fathered by men who came to South Africa & left or were from families who were financially unable to care for them. I suspect that Mum suffered trauma at the Home. She seemed to develop schizophrenia in her early forties. She has paranoid schizophrenia. My siblings & myself have also suffered as a result.

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  9. Just to put context:

    If schizophrenia is diagnosed in around 1% of people, a 2.75 increase in risk would give less than 3 in a 100 chance of being diagnosed with it if suffering ACE, or 1 in 33. So, in practice, if psychiatry were a real medical field, going from 1% chance to 3% chance is useless.

    One would need to be over 95% confident, even beyond 99% given antipsycotics are very dangerous medications*. The 5% falsely diagnosed might be exposed to early cardiovascular death, permanent disability, tardive psychosis, severe obesity, sleep apnea, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension and sudden arrhytmic non coronary death. And for no benefit beyond insomnia, perhaps**…

    And to rule out, one started with less than 5%, and stood at less than 5%, that is even if one weren’t exposed to ACE it’s still 1 %, so it does not help rule out the diagnostic label not being exposed to ACE.

    Being male might not increase the risk that much, given the 1% is mostly male to begin with.

    There being no biological test for the disease makes most of risk calculations moot though, and beyond suspicious given that it’s claimed a biological disease with no biological way to prove that!. A lot of hand waving with genetics and MRI, some neuropathology, that always turned out to be false claims. Simple as that.

    Just adding signs won’t do much if there is no golden rule test beyond symptoms, that’s pre 20th century “medical” practice. And it still is in the 21st, it’s oracular divinatory pseudoscience.

    Just because the whole mental disorder field, superficially, appears to make sense does not make it scientific. Most “sucessfull” pseudosciences are at least stlightly convincing, but as in psychiatry, lack a proven mechanism that causes ANYTHING, beyond money exchanging hands…

    But the reviewed article apparently confuses something making a diagnostic label more probable, with doing something based on that empirical correlation knowledge useful: pretending to treat ACE, although perhaps causal, although not proven by any standard beyond correlation***, does not necessarily provide “treatment”.

    That requires a causal link for the treatment, not merely to the diagnosis, and the last is also lacking.

    And it could be based on a false analogy: insulin for diabetes. Iron for iron deficiency anemia.

    Which is false, and has been harmfull at least to the informed consent of patients.

    *It is not recomended that antipsychotics are withdrawn abruptly.

    **I did a napking analysis, a guesstimate for the harm at a 5% false positive diagnosis rate in (27/2017 October 15, 2023 at 7:27 pm) :

    https://www.madinamerica.com/2023/10/reflections-radar-study/

    *** Again, correlation does not prove causation, that requires a theory in the scientific sense: beyond doubt, to even PROPOSE experiments. And that according to the APA is lacking for the whole field:

    https://www.madinamerica.com/2023/10/maid-and-mental-illness-an-interview-with-dr-jeffrey-kirby/

    “Since a complete description of the underlying pathological processes is not possible for most mental disorders…” that, translated means it is incomplete for most mental disorders, and that means it is incomplete to describe the symptoms and it’s relationship with the “disease process”, pathological in this use is synonymous with disease. Incomplete, simplifying, given the context, means: it can’t explain.

    “In the absences [sic] of clear biological markers or clinically useful measurements of severity for many mental disorders, it has not been POSSIBLE TO SEPARATE NORMAL FROM PATHOLOGICAL symptom expressions contained in diagnostic criteria.”, that means normality and the symptoms of psychiatry are indistinguishable in medical terms, period…

    As an added comment: the APA uses “many mental disorders”, “most mental disorders”, but when you add “it has not been POSSIBLE TO SEPARATE NORMAL FROM PATHOLOGICAL symptom expressions contained in diagnostic criteria”, means ALL, in the sense ALL diagnostic criteria, it does not say SOME diagnostic criteria, and certainly, as congruity demans, most/many diagnostic criteria.

    In logical terms: since those that did had a disease process or psychiatric symptoms that were distinguishable from normal, then by necessity they would be inlcluded in “diagnostic criteria”. Therefore NONE, NO diagnostic criteria is distinguishable from normal and it does not have a disease process that explains at least the symptoms.

    That’s, to me, as my opinion, weasel wording by the APA. But, it’s authoritative and means no mental disorder, disease, whatever, has an explanation, a pathological process, nor a way to distinguish psychiatric symptoms from normal. Not even an explanation for the symptoms: the link between the disease process and symptom “expression”.

    None of them have that, even if one were to use something besides the DSM!, since it was claimed by TOP experts working collegially summarizing the most current “evidence” about SYMPTOMS. That is: no symptom, no matter how you arranged them will, alone or grouped, at least so far. And they being trying that for over 150 years!.

    Weasely worded, but it can be unpacked to try to understand what it actually means.

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  10. Who wrote the book detailing how the drug companies behave like a drug cartel? Here once again we have ample evidence what kind of cult like behavior goes on.

    1) What is this term “treatment resistant?” To begin with, when there’s this “scientific” sound bite put forth that “Schizophrenia” is because a person has too much dopamine, and thus is treated with “medications” that in reality in the end cause excess dopamine, what kind of nonsense are we dealing with when calling the end result “treatment resistance.” A “schizophrenic” is made out to be non reality based, but when they “believe” that a treatment that causes what it is said to heal, then they are treatment compliant, and then what!? Dopamine antagonists cause the body in the end to make more dopamine. PERIOD! If anyone would read Robert Whitaker’s excellent analyses of the difference in recover when one is or isn’t “medicated” you would see that without such “treatment” there’s more recovery. PERIOD!

    2) I know that “schizophrenia” comes from childhood trauma. I had parents that both were psychologist, and they don’t even seem to understand what true interest in your child and his or her thought processes is. The way my father, for example, used all us children in his classes as examples of people with said personality flaw: I was too sensitive, my three sisters having other “personality flaws,” this doesn’t show interest even in a child’s innate gifts, this shows interest in finding something wrong with them. Pretty much the SAME backward thinking as what’s treatment resistant or not. Find something wrong that sounds scientific and deny that it causes problems because it suppresses natural processes. I had “schizophrenic reactions” to life when push came to shove and I REALLY needed to be able to relate to my own innate thoughts. Not indoctrinated thoughts, not thoughts you get points for “believing” given social norms, statistical based norms or “consensual reality deportment” as if some “board” got together and voted on what reality is; but one’s own innate thoughts, the ones you have because you ARE you and no one else is. Why you are unique, what nature (and that overused word “God”) gave you to be who you are. The EXTREME anxiety I had as a child trying to express myself, my own thoughts, and the vicious attacks from my father would I not be indoctrinated by him, feeding his need to think he was a benevolent authority, doing his job in “forming” others and appeasing his insecurities with the petty fraudulent rewards that he was doing good: this caused such EXTREME anxiety that later in life, when I HAD TO think things through, and it became critical I simply would shut down because of anxiety I didn’t even know was there. I would actually exhibit the inability to think things through so in the end I would realize I had problems with it. You do have to experience you can’t think things through to realize something is going on. And then comes the whole onslaught of lies regarding it’s a chemical imbalance, genetic etc. It took me literally years going in and out of these episodes (at least 83% of the time I was fine, but then I’d go into another episode) before I started to understand what was going on. First I noticed it happened when I started smoking, and then having stopped smoking that it happened when I started drinking copious amounts of coffee. I went off of coffee, but then even copious amounts of decaf caused the same problem. I had figured even THAT out, and then once again, I just started drinking copious amounts of decaf. You can read about what coffee does to the brain, it causes more dopamine, more serotonin, it inhibits GABA, affect adrenaline consequently, even the little amount of caffeine that decaf has does a lot, even thought when you drink 5 cups of regular coffee a day, you with decaf get 3 to 5% of that amount, so you’d have to drink like 150 cups of coffee a day to get the same amount as with regular!? I don’t think that’s possible, that much water could kill you. The second time I went off on decaf I didn’t have some of the effects going off it like the time before. So in a way I was still coming off of stuff. But then the real difficulty heads in, and it was timed with my father finally leaving the city, and going to be taken care of one of my sisters for his last days. You see this behavior of drinking too much coffee, or smoking too much (or both) this was to disassociate from the trauma from my youth. At first I might just have a flashing thought that what was going on had to do with my father, but I couldn’t work this out, and I WAS NOT going to start “therapy” with any generic social worker that could have me put on “medications” and institutionalized, but then I found a place that’s different (or at least different enough) about six or seven years ago. It got so bad actually that my parents, after quite aggressively denying my need to feel free to express how their suppression of my feelings affected me in my youth, they said they were concerned I might become ward of the state (while DENYING their involvement with what was causing the problem). As if this wasn’t causing more anxiety! One doesn’t really know what one is doing, it’s just a reaction. It could have been a whole number of other things, and fortunately I didn’t do street drugs, alcohol or even psychiatric “medications” or beyond that who know what else. But it’s like having multiple personalities when one personality doesn’t remember what another went through. Only here, the memory is there, but muted, and the real interpretation of how it affected one isn’t there. It might marginally be there but it’s not worked out. It’s still all muted from the trauma, the mind control from one’s youth, what happened whenever one tried to express one’s own voice. And to gain more understanding one really has to find a safe place, but that’s not going on in society in general at all. It’s not easy to detach from “life” or rather this bizarre circus that goes on in society where people all seem to be disassociating from who they really are, bankrupting each other all trying to be some acceptable model of how one behaves akin to robots controlled by fear. Or given how I described what one is detaching from is it much easier than one believes? Life becomes quieter, anyhow. But it is like you have withdrawal symptoms finding other things to do besides being part of the circus. Were one used to the other stuff, it would have become habit and one would have had perspective. You do become like the boy that noticed the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes, and the reaction of the mob is quite bizarre. Doing things that seem to be “nothing” helps, like meditating, finding healing that’s alternative like spiritual healing, indeeping oneself in finding out what you’re not supposed to know (such as the truth about what psychiatric drugs really do scientifically) stuff that’s called often conspiracy theories, taking walks, going out in nature, reading good books, any of the arts where true spirit actually is natural. In a way what’s called the “trauma” from one’s youth is what impels one to find oneself one step further than perhaps a “good” childhood would have done. So is it really trauma or just a challenge? But a healthy brain helps, as does knowing how you keep yours healthy……Psychiatric drugs don’t do that they cause chemical imbalance, that should be part of informed consent rather than wanting to keep your brain healthy or wanting to return it to a healthy state is then called “non-compliant,” or even “treatment resistant.” “Entertainment” where there always is need for the adrenaline of fighting the bad guy, with chase scenes stereotyping etc. all to make one programmable that as long as you’ve fixated on something “bad” to destroy everything will be fine, this is maybe more like being vulnerable to believing the chemical imbalance myth and believe that the depictions of wonderful lives once said drug is administered with pastel colors of butterflies sunsets and happy smiles. Just go to your neighborhood pharmacy and get happiness in pill form, if you have enough money or the right insurance. And now even when I was smoking too much, drinking too much coffee or both this would actually disable my rational mind enough that what one might call wonders, metaphysical things or even miracles could happen; but you can’t keep up the smoking or drinking too much coffee without it really affecting your health, and there were better ways the whole time. I haven’t smoked in almost two decades, and stopped with caffeine (also no sugar), and just taking the time to rest, quietly follow your own thoughts, do creative things, meditate, do spiritual healing exercises, this helps immensely. There are all sorts of things beyond how we are programmed, beyond what we’ve been told is rational.

    3) There’s this art form called Dadaism which was started after WW1 with the belief that absolute “chaos” had more harmony than all of the rules the authorities that resulted in WW1. Would you follow this logic, one might determine that painting the neighbors house (with permission please), or going into the backyard, or park or any free space and turning around 1.78 times, or sticking your tongue out at a tree, or smiling at a tree or not smiling at a tree, that all of these seemingly nonsensical treatment for “schizophrenia” are more effective than mainstream treatment. Because mainstream treatment STILL correlates with the spike in the problem and said “non reality based” forms of “incoherent,” and “illogical” treatments actually don’t correlate with such a spike.

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  11. These people are totally underhanded! No one is falling for it. Pretending to have just stumbled upon a brand new, revolutionary idea — “hey, what if child abuse makes a difference later on?” — pretending that no one has ever considered this before, and that the people in charge of hiring and promotions and who gets published were part of an upright medical treatment by “taking the biological approach” and are not just people who sold out to pharma for money and clout.

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  12. Iam person that suffered abuse sexual abuse. The abuse started when I was 4 years old and went till I was 12 years old when my mother found out that her brother had been having sex with me she became angry and became abusive towards me for the next 6 years living in my mother’s house was hell she beat me and she abused me to terrorized me and she made me fearful I grew up feeling like there was always something wrong with me and I would hear voices that would cloud my ability to talk I learned how to out talk the voices and came out with strategies that allowed me to be able to communicate with my classmates and teachers school and church were the only place that I could go to get away from the abuse and yet nobody’s did anything to stop it As I Grew Older and older I would have my aunts and uncles who would tell me that I was special to them and that they would help me later on in life which they did and I always said well if everybody knew how bad it was why did they leave me there why didn’t they say something but they just covered it up and then minimized it and the abuse continued I’m 59 years old now and I just had a traumatic event happened to me again and this time I opened up all these Old Wounds and I had two psychotic breaks so severe that I ended up in the hospital because I try to take my life while I was in the hospital they put me on antipsychotic medication and the combination of drugs that they gave me helped me and I was able to see life in a whole different way it was like I came out of a coma and all the things that I was afraid of I no longer was and my mother who continued the abuse all my life I was finally able to stand up to her and stop it and be an adult it’s hard because I read this article and I never knew nobody gave me therapy it was just covered up I do believe that I have a treatment resistant psychosis because I’ve had all my life and nothing that’s any therapist did that I went to could ever change the fact that I experienced different levels of psychotic behavior and hallucinations which were the worst paranoia and fear took over my life I was extremely extremely malnutrition and was sick all the time yet when I was a kid nobody did anything about it it was covered up fortunately for me I had a very supportive husband who helped me through it and knew that I was having these hallucinations and helped me be able to put them in my life and realize that they were not real but like I said it never has gone away so I really don’t know if this helps anybody or not but I feel like the article helped me it helped me understand why why I was having these hallucinations I never linked it to my abuse and the then the next traumatic event that occurred when I was 52 years old knocked the wind out of me so badly but I lost everything in my life and it’s been seven long year’s. Being hospitalized saved my life. But I know that those hallucinations will return as I become resistant to the medication. I hope when it does that my doctor will again change my medication to make them stop. .

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    • Since you have new insight into the origin of your “hallucinations,” I hope that gives you new understanding. It may be like a warning signal, that when you understand what’s going on that the warning signal dissipates. There are other ways to alleviate the fear and anxiety that seems to become too much beyond the medications you are concerned you will become resistant to. Given the trauma in your youth, and then a current traumatic event causes the cup to overflow. There are other ways to calm yourself. Sadly, society in general isn’t always a place where one might find such a resource. It is possible though. Maybe just feeling the uncomfortable feelings rather than wanting things different, slowing down, this might help. I’m still surprised at what level I have to detach from what being “functional” is made out to be in order to not loose it and actually be functional. It starts with breathing, maybe. I actually have a resperate machine which lowered my blood pressure, gets the parasympathetic nervous system to allow for healing and letting go of stress, as does yoga and feldenkrais exercises (there are youtube videos for feldenkrais that have helped me, and yoga I would think so too). Meditating also helps me, even though part of my mind wants to tell me that that’s “nothing” and tries to conduce me into thinking I need to do something more active, but that might be the same part of my mind that would run me ragged till I get “psychotic.” I notice I do let go of things when I don’t allow that part of my mind to take control. And it helps. I notice that even just staying away from common “entertainment” such as the movies that have to have a bad guy, and chase scenes, even simple mysteries where you’re waiting to see who the bad guy is over the whole show, and music that’s calmer than the constant stimulant beat. There’s other art that’s more healing…..

      I’m just saying something. I can’t tell you what will work for you. But I do think that exists and can be found. Don’t give up hope….

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  13. My youngest sister wasn’t abused in any way.

    In fact, she was a spoiled, coddled golden child who was handed everything she ever wanted, the moment she wanted it. She wanted to take up running as a hobby? The whole family was required to participate and finance hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of trips around the world to run marathons. She wanted to go to college? I had to quit in the middle of my education because continuing might make her feel I was “competing” with her…

    I was the one who was actually abused, spending hours every evening with my drunk mother following me around raging at me, telling me I ruined her life, telling me I was fat and ugly and no one would ever love me, blaming every negative thing in her world on me.

    No one in the family would ever even consider doing this to my youngest sister.

    And yet… She is the one who is having hallucinations, hearing voices, having obsessive delusions, violently attacking people…

    So no, clearly it’s not caused by abuse, when the coddled golden child can end up violently psychotic.

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    • It’s your younger sister’s place to decide whether or not having to be the “coddled golden” child amounted to abuse.

      Also, this post was about a study where many different cases were looked at, not just one account of one person and their analyses of it regarding another who they feel didn’t suffer abuse.

      We’re all sorry for you having to deal with what you did in your youth, but having to constantly ameliorate preferential treatment, as if this tends to basic human needs, that also can be seen as abuse, abuse that might be more difficult to identify since being forced to take on the facade that preferential treatment is what makes one happy isn’t generally seen as abuse. I imagine living up to such preferential treatment can cause quite a bit of stress. There might also have been abuse behind closed doors only your sister knows of. Regardless, it’s her place to decide whether she suffered abuse in her life, regardless of whether you feel in competition your life has had more of it. If she also suffered abused of of a whole different sort on the other side of the spectrum, this doesn’t minimize yours.

      I also wonder whether “medications” were involved such as Benzodiazepines, Antidepressants or ADHD medications, all which can contribute to the behavior you state is exhibited in your sister.

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      • The problem is that one criterion of causation is that there should be some positive or negative relationship between the dependent variable, like dissociation, and the independent variable, like trauma.

        Aware some psychiatrists, and perhaps clinical psychologists have invoked “disordered” kids, minors, as being subjected to MORE abuse, than “normal” kids, minors.

        A causality in the OPPOSITE direction as this MIA piece.

        And that has to be quantified, meassured objectively, not intersubjectively like assesing, evaluating a work of art… even if we all are beautifull… after all I am not a prized hog to be auctioned at a price determined by the subjectivity, even if experienced, of my “buyers”…

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      • It depends on the causal model.

        X-ray radiation has no threshold, even tiny, tiny amounts of X-ray exposure increase the risk of cancer, above “background” rate. Background rate is not meassured in any mental disorder thing.

        But trauma in be-o-lo-gy, does have a threshold, just scratching my skin does not necesarily lead to traumatic injury, whereas something more strong definitively will cause me harm, even if I don’t notice, don’t feel pain…

        So, those kind of inferences, predictions, observations, explanations, depend on the model that connects, causally, the cause with the effect.

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