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Trauma Exposure, Schizophrenia Symptoms, and the Stress Vulnerability Model

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Comprehensive Guide to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders

Abstract

Literature from the last 15 years has found an established relationship between trauma exposure, schizophrenia, and PTSD symptoms. The reporting of trauma exposure in people with schizophrenia ranges between 33 % and 98 %, which is much higher than that found in the general population. The prevalence and severity of PTSD symptoms are also significantly higher in people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. The trends that emerge from this literature indicate that people with schizophrenia are likely to experience exposure to more than one trauma and that there is a dose-response relationship between the number of traumas experienced and the severity of schizophrenia symptoms and PTSD symptoms. Exposure to childhood trauma, sexual assault, and violence is commonly experienced by people with schizophrenia. Evidence suggests that a bidirectional relationship exists between the severity of PTSD and schizophrenia symptoms. There are two potential causal relationships: schizophrenia symptoms and treatment cause PTSD symptoms or trauma causes the development of schizophrenia symptoms. The stress vulnerability model offers the temporal framework to further investigate the nature of the relationship between trauma exposure, schizophrenia symptoms, and PTSD. A number of biopsychosocial vulnerabilities to developing schizophrenia symptoms are associated with trauma exposure.

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Abbreviations

AH:

Auditory hallucinations

BPMS:

British Psychiatric Morbidity Survey

CI:

Confidence intervals

df:

Degrees of freedom

DSM-V:

Diagnostic and statistical manual-5th edition

HPA:

Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis

NCS:

National Comorbidity Survey

OR:

Odds ratio

PTSD:

Post-traumatic stress disorder

SD:

Standard deviation

SVM:

Stress vulnerability model

VH:

Visual hallucinations

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Correspondence to Mick P. Fleming .

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Fleming, M.P., Martin, C.R. (2016). Trauma Exposure, Schizophrenia Symptoms, and the Stress Vulnerability Model. In: Martin, C., Preedy, V., Patel, V. (eds) Comprehensive Guide to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-08359-9_40

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