Saturday, May 18, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Lonely children more likely to experience psychosis

Published 17 April 2024
- By Editorial Staff
Girls had a higher risk of being affected in adulthood compared to boys.

Children who feel lonely for more than six months before the age of six are more likely to suffer from psychosis in adulthood than others, according to a Spanish study. Women are also more likely than men to suffer from psychosis.

Psychosis includes delusions, such as feelings of persecution or supernatural powers, hallucinations, or disorganized thinking. Psychosis can occur with both psychiatric and physical illnesses, including some medications. The most common psychotic disorder is schizophrenia.

In the preliminary study, presented at the European Congress of Psychiatry in Budapest, Hungary, researchers analyzed reports from 285 people who had experienced their first psychotic episode and 261 people who had never experienced psychosis. Participants were asked: “Have you ever felt lonely for more than 6 months before the age of 12?”

Loneliness during childhood was associated with a 117% increased risk of suffering a psychotic episode, according to the UK’s Independent. In addition, men who reported experiencing childhood loneliness were 17% more likely to have a psychotic episode than those who did not. For women, however, the figure is significantly higher, with a 374% increased risk of suffering a psychotic episode compared to women who did not report feeling lonely in childhood, according to the researchers.

– This study offers valuable insight into the association between childhood loneliness and first-episode psychosis. With the rise of digitalisation and social isolation, loneliness has become a pervasive issue affecting young individuals. The compelling findings of this study, which establish a direct connection between childhood loneliness and the onset of psychosis, highlight a concerning trend and underscore the importance of addressing social connectedness and emotional well-being from an early age, said Professor Andrea Fiorillo, president-elect of the European Psychiatric Association, in a press release.

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