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Childhood trauma and hallucinations in bipolar affective disorder: preliminary investigation

  • Paul Hammersley (a1), Anton Dias (a2), Gillian Todd (a3), Kim Bowen-Jones (a4), Bernadette Reilly (a5) and Richard P. Bentall (a6)...
Abstract
Background

Strong evidence exists for an association between childhood trauma, particularly childhood sexual abuse, and hallucinations in schizophrenia. Hallucinations are also well-documented symptoms in people with bipolar affective disorder.

Aims

To investigate the relationship between childhood sexual abuse and other childhood traumas and hallucinations in people with bipolar affective disorder.

Method

A sample of 96 participants was drawn from the Medical Research Council multi-centre trial of cognitive–behavioural therapy for bipolar affective disorder. The trial therapists recorded spontaneous reports of childhood sexual abuse made during the course of therapy. Symptom data were collected by trained research assistants masked to the hypothesis.

Results

A significant association was found between those reporting general trauma (n=38) and auditory hallucinations. A highly significant association was found between those reporting childhood sexual abuse (n=15) and auditory hallucinations.

Conclusions

The relationship between childhood sexual abuse and hallucinations in bipolar disorder warrants further investigation.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Paul Hammersley, Department of Psychology, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK. E-mail: Paul@hammersley7616.freeserve.co.uk
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Childhood trauma and hallucinations in bipolar affective disorder: preliminary investigation

  • Paul Hammersley (a1), Anton Dias (a2), Gillian Todd (a3), Kim Bowen-Jones (a4), Bernadette Reilly (a5) and Richard P. Bentall (a6)...
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