Monday, October 19, 2009

Psychosis and emotions; not so different after all

There has been little research into the emotions of people suffering from psychosis. Historically there has been a divide between the neuroses, like depression and anxiety, which are thought to have an emotional origin and the psychoses which are thought to have a biological cause but in one study 73.4% of people with psychosis were found to have suffered from a mood disorder at some point in their life and 71.4% from an anxiety disorder. Researchers from Scotland examined this issue more closely by comparing 21 people who had experienced psychosis, 21 people suffering from anxiety or mood disorders and 21 people who had never had any mental-health problems. Both the groups who had suffered from mental-health problems were found to experience similar emotions; more negative emotions and lower levels of happiness than the healthy control group. Both groups with mental-health problems also used similar strategies to regulate their emotions, strategies that were more dysfunctional than the unaffected participants. The study suggests that the emotional problems of people with psychosis are more similar to those of people suffering from other mental-health problems than had previously been thought.

Livingstone, Karen, Harper, Sean and Gillanders, David - An exploration of emotion regulation in psychosis Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy September-October 2009, 16(5), 418-430

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