Stress load during childhood affects psychopathology in psychiatric patients.

Department of Psychology, University of Konstanz, Germany.
BMC Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 2.23). 01/2008; 8:63. DOI: 10.1186/1471-244X-8-63
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Childhood stress and trauma have been related to adult psychopathology in different psychiatric disorders. The present study aimed at verifying this relationship for stressful experiences during developmental periods by screening stress load across life in adult psychiatric inpatients with different diagnoses compared to healthy subjects. In addition, a relationship between the amount of adverse experiences and the severity of pathology, which has been described as a 'building block' effect in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), was explored for non-traumatic events in psychiatric disorders other than PTSD.
96 patients with diagnoses of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), schizophrenia, drug addiction, or personality disorders (PD) and 31 subjects without psychiatric diagnosis were screened for adverse experiences in childhood (before the age of six years), before onset of puberty, and in adulthood using the Early Trauma Inventory and the Posttraumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale. Effects of stress load on psychopathology were examined for affective symptoms, PTSD, and severity of illness by regression analyses and comparison of subgroups with high and low stress load.
High stress load in childhood and before puberty, but not in adulthood, was related to negative affect in all participants. In patients, high stress load was related to depressive and posttraumatic symptoms, severity of disorder, and the diagnoses of MDD and PD.
Results support the hypothesis of stress-sensitive periods during development, which may interact with genetic and other vulnerability factors in their influence on the progress of psychiatric disorders. A 'dose' effect of stress load on the severity of psychopathology is not restricted to the relationship between traumata and PTSD.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Inconsistent gender differences in the outcome of TBI have been reported. The mechanism is unknown. In a recent male animal study, repeated stress followed by TBI had synergistic effects on brain gene expression and caused greater behavioral deficits. Because females are more likely to develop anxiety after stress and because anxiety is mediated by cannabinoid receptors (CBRs) (CB1 and CB2), there is a need to compare CB1 and CB2 expression in stressed males and females. CB1 and CB2 mRNA expression was determined in the amygdala, hippocampus, prefrontal cortex (PFC), and hypothalamus of adolescent male and female rats after 3 days of repeated tail-shock stress using qPCR. PFC CB1 and CB2 protein levels were determined using Western blot techniques. Both gender and stress had significant effects on brain CB1 mRNA expression levels. Overall, females showed significantly higher CB1 and CB2 mRNA levels in all brain regions than males (p < 0.01). Repeated stress reduced CB1 mRNA levels in the amygdala, hippocampus, and PFC (p < 0.01, each). A gender × stress interaction was found in CB1 mRNA level in the hippocampus (p < 0.05), hypothalamus (p < 0.01), and PFC (p < 0.01). Within-sex one-way ANOVA analysis showed decreased CB1 mRNA in the hippocampus, hypothalamus, and PFC of stressed females (p < 0.01, each) but increased CB1 mRNA levels in the hypothalamus of stressed males (p < 01). There was a gender and stress interaction in prefrontal CB1 receptor protein levels (p < 0.05), which were decreased in stressed females only (p < 0.05). Prefrontal CB2 protein levels were decreased in both male and female animals after repeated stress (p < 0.05, each). High basal levels of CBR expression in young naïve females could protect against TBI damage whereas stress-induced CBR deficits could predict a poor outcome of TBI in repeatedly stressed females. Further animal studies could help evaluate this possibility.
    Frontiers in Neurology 08/2014; 5:161.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Participating in working life is im- portant for most peoples’ economy, self-confi- dence, independence, social life, and feeling of belonging. Persons with co-occurring severe mental health difficulties and substance use problems have challenges in entering working life. Objective: The aim of the study was to ex- plore the importance of work and activity for the recovery of persons with co-occurring severe mental health difficulties and substance use problems and to determine the significant ele- ments that aid them in getting into work and/or meaningful activities. Methods: A professional development program was conducted to explore how following-up on these persons could lead to participation in working life. The data were col- lected through qualitative interviews with 24 participants, and with 25 of those carrying out the follow-up. Results: The participants de-scribed the benefit from the follow-up as well. They expressed enthusiasm for work and voca- tional training, although they all did not obtain work. Many had a better life, with more daily structure and less substance abuse. The per- sonal encounter between the helper and the participant was ascribed crucial importance— being respected and valued, being relied on, and being able to be honest were considered sig- nificant. Conclusions: The participants valued work and regular activities, a more structured life, decreased drug abuse, and altogether a better life. The helpers’ respect, recognition and their ability to see dignity through wretchedness and broken agreements were important. The participants emphasized the importance of get- ting help for different problems from different helpers at the same time, and the providers’ in- terdisciplinary collaboration in teams was es-sential. It seems that the supported employ- ment philosophy on speedy job seeking ought to be adapted to this target group and that prior social training may be necessary.
    Health 01/2013; 5(No.6A2):78-86. · 2.10 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Identification of possible cases suffering post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is important, especially in developing countries where traumatic events are typically prevalent. The Children's Revised Impact of Events Scale is a reliable and valid measure that has two brief versions (13 items and 8 items) to assess reactions to traumatic events among young people. The current study evaluated the psychometric properties of both versions of the CRIES in a sample of 1,342 children and adolescents aged 9-17 years (M = 12.3 years, SD = 2.12) recruited from six districts of Bangladesh. A sub-group of 120 children from four schools was re-tested on the measures within 3.5 weeks. Confirmatory factor analysis supported factor structures similar to those found in other studies for both versions of the CRIES. Multiple group confirmatory factor analysis showed gender and age-group differences within the sample, supporting established age and gender differences in prevalence of PTSD symptoms. Analyses also indicated moderate to excellent internal consistency and test-retest reliability and clear discriminant and convergent validity. These data support use of both the CRIES-13 and CRIES-8 to provide quick and psychometrically sound assessment of symptoms of PTSD among children and adolescents from Bangla-speaking communities.
    PeerJ. 01/2014; 2:e536.

Full-text (3 Sources)

Available from
May 22, 2014