The journey to psychosis: an exploration of specific psychological pathways
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Recent models of psychosis have implicated specific psychological processes in the aetiology of this disorder, and these factors may form a route to later symptoms—either directly or via a mediating pathway after exposure to adversity. Researchers are beginning to bring together findings that look into specific pathways between early experiences of adversity and different symptoms of psychosis, including thought disorder, hallucinations and persecutory delusions. The adversity-specific pathways include parental communication deviance, source monitoring biases, and insecure attachment. Researchers have also begun to utilise specific psychological factors as targets for treatment, and these include a focus on a worrying thinking style, negative beliefs about the self, interpersonal sensitivity, sleep disturbance, anomalous internal experience, and reasoning biases. Research on the impact of psychological processes is beginning to mount and is likely to improve our understanding of aetiology and lead to significant advances in the treatment of psychotic symptoms and disorders.
KeywordsPsychosis Adversity Mechanisms Thought disorder Hallucinations Delusions
SB is supported by an Economic and Social Research Council Ph.D. studentship. HF is supported by a Medical Research Council Population Health Scientist fellowship.
Conflict of interest
There is no conflict of interest.
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