Relationships between trauma and psychosis: an exploration of cognitive and dissociative factors
Article first published online: 15 SEP 2005
Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Volume 112, Issue 5, pages 351–359, November 2005
How to Cite
Kilcommons, A. M. and Morrison, A. P. (2005), Relationships between trauma and psychosis: an exploration of cognitive and dissociative factors. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 112: 351–359. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2005.00623.x
- Issue published online: 15 SEP 2005
- Article first published online: 15 SEP 2005
- Accepted for publication July 19, 2005
- post-traumatic stress disorder;
- negative beliefs
Objective: There is a growing awareness of the relationship between trauma and psychosis. Studies have found associations between traumatic life experiences and the development of psychosis.
Method: This study examined the prevalence of trauma exposure and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in 32 people with psychotic diagnoses and investigated associations between specific traumas and psychotic symptoms. The role of dissociation and cognitive factors was also explored.
Results: The prevalence of lifetime trauma was high (94% of the sample reported at least one traumatic event). The prevalence of current PTSD was 53%. Severity of trauma was associated with severity of PTSD and psychotic experiences. Physical abuse was associated with positive psychotic symptoms and sexual abuse was specifically related to hallucinations. Dissociative processes and negative beliefs formed as a result of trauma were associated with psychotic experiences (particularly hallucinations).
Conclusion: These findings are consistent with the suggestion that psychosis may be trauma-induced, and other implications are considered.