The literature has found a connection between trauma, dissociation and delusions. In the illness conceptualization of my ancestors, dissociation could be called, soul loss.
Soul loss is when a part of our soul checks out during a traumatic event.
Both soul loss and dissociation seem to serve as a form of protection during the traumatic event.
Shamans are entrusted to recover these cast-off soul parts and bring them home for integration and patient wholeness.
I don't yet know or understand the connection between dissociation and delusions - but we are building to bridge that gap.
Mostly, I just want to know how my dear friends can be helped.
Introduction & Background
Community-based surveys have found that otherwise well individuals endorse items related to psychotic symptoms (Eaton et al, 1991; van Os et al, 2000).
Previous studies have shown an association between psychotic symptoms and exposure to trauma.
An Australian study identified an increased likelihood of delusional experiences associated with certain demographic variables, including:
- male gender,
- younger age,
- migrant status (but only those from non-English-speaking backgrounds),
- urban residence,
- lower income,
- lower educational achievement and
- living alone (Scott et al, 2006).
Cannabis dependence and alcohol dependence were also found to be associated with delusional experiences (Degenhardt & Hall, 2001).
A number of studies have now shown an association between traumatic events in childhood and psychotic symptoms (Janssen et al, 2004; Spauwen et al, 2006).
We had the opportunity to further examine the association between exposure to trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and delusional experiences in a large, representative community-based Australian sample.
Exposure to any traumatic event but without the development of PTSD was associated with increased endorsement of delusional experiences and there was a significant dose–response relationship between the number of types of traumatic events and endorsement of such experiences. The association between PTSD and delusional experiences remained significant after adjusting for factors associated with psychotic symptoms.