The Pathway To Psychosis Essay

1415 words - 6 pages

“How all occasions do inform against me” is a line from act IIII, scene IIII of

William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. This line, spoken by Hamlet, expresses his emotional state as he

is currently overwhelmed by the death of his father, the king of Denmark, and the situation

surrounding it. After Hamlet learns of his father’s death he finds out that his mother has married

Claudius, Hamlet’s uncle. On top of all of that, Hamlet soon after discovers that Claudius

murdered his father in order to become king, and he takes it upon himself to avenge his

father’s death. Throughout the play, the severe stress of the situation seems to take its toll on

Hamlet putting him in a ...view middle of the document...

13). It is important to note that at the time of this study in Switzerland all male citizens were

ordered to present themselves for “military conscription” (Rossler, et al., 2011, p. 13). All

subjects filled out a self-report questionnaire of 90 questions covering a wide variety of

psychiatric symptoms (as well as a range of demographic questions) called the Symptom

Checklist 90-R (SCL-90-R) (Rossler, et al., 2011, p. 13). From there the sample was stratified

with the purpose of “enriching” the sample with subjects at risk for developing psychiatric

syndromes leaving a sample of 591 subjects (Rossler, et al., 2011, p. 13). From there a series of

interviews spanning 20 years were conducted using the SPIKE (Structured Psychopathological

Interview and Rating of the Social Consequences of Psychological Disturbances for

Epidemiology) as well as the SCL90-R (Rossler, et al., 2011, pp. 13-14). The results of the study

showed a relatively high positive correlation between the schizotypal symptoms and the

depression symptoms of subjects (Rossler, et al., 2011, p. 15). While a correlation is not

evidence to prove that depression causes Schizophrenia, it does prove a relationship between

schizophrenia and depression. This relates to the topic at hand in that it is widely accepted that

stress often leads to depression. Thus, it is possible that the stress brought on these subjects by

military recruitment is related to their depression which is, as stated previously, related to their

Schizophrenia. Thus, it is conceivable that stress is related to Schizophrenia.

Another study that shows the relationship between environmental stress and psychosis,

published in the Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica journal, found that Traumatic childhood events

lead to increased emotional and psychotic reactivity to stress (Lardinois , Lataster , Mengelers,

van Os , & Myin-Germeys, 2011, p. 28). The 50 subjects in the sample were diagnosed with

psychosis and studied using the “experience sampling method” (ESM), used to determine

their day-to-day stress reactivity which was found to be “emotional and psychotic” (Lardinois ,

Lataster , Mengelers, van Os , & Myin-Germeys, 2011, pp. 28-29). Following, childhood trauma

was assessed with a questionnaire (Lardinois , Lataster , Mengelers, van Os , & Myin-Germeys,

2011, pp. 28-29). The findings of the study show a strong “interaction” between stress and

childhood trauma, thus showing that childhood trauma is associated with “sensitivity

to stress” (Lardinois , Lataster , Mengelers, van Os , & Myin-Germeys, 2011, p. 28). While this

does not prove a cause-and-effect relationship between childhood trauma and an “emotional and

psychotic” reactivity to stress, it strongly points to the possibility that a history of childhood

trauma can lead to an individual reacting emotionally and psychotically to stress (Lardinois ,

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