Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Social withdrawal and Schizophrenia

That is the title of this article I am writing about.  This article hits close to home. “A new study finds that adults with schizophrenia who keep to themselves often did so as children, but that social skills training can be an effective way to overcome any difficulties presented by socializing with others. If you’re feeling alone, you’re not alone. That’s one of the key messages that institute-supported researcher Sandra Matheson wants people to take from her meta-analysis of social withdrawal and schizophrenia that was published recently in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.  The report, which compared six studies that looked at childhood social withdrawal in adults with schizophrenia and in at-risk children aged 9-14 years, found that childhood social withdrawal in combination with three potential markers of schizophrenia risk –delay in speech or motor development, presence of psychotic-like experiences, and social, emotional or behavioral problems –was an indicator of vulnerability for schizophrenia.” I was shy as a kid and still am.  Although friends always counted me in stuff either way.  Although I did not have any other problems like the ones mentioned besides being shy.
The article also says: “That’s not to say that children who are shy, or don’t have a lot of friends or don’t play well are going to develop schizophrenia later in life, Ms Matheson points out.  What the results of the study tells us is that adults with schizophrenia who are socially withdrawn, quite likely displayed those same attributes when they were children and that not wanting to socialize with others is a common occurrence in people with schizophrenia. The study considered withdrawn children to be those who frequently refrained from joining in social activities with their friends and was measured by using the Childhood Behavioural Checklist, which is widely-used psychological questionnaire that assesses a number of behaviours and is filled out by either parents, teachers or the child themselves. I mostly read books when I was a child.  I had a few friends did not make a lot until high school.  The shyness in adult life was offset my alcohol that is why I am an alcoholic. I drank to talk to women or anybody.
The article finishes up saying: “The encouraging new from the study is that children who scored high on the Child Behaviour Checklist for social withdrawal who also received an intervention such as social skills training were able to modify or overcome their tendency to withdraw.  Helping a child to overcome any difficulties they may experience-whether it’s learning to play a sport to improve motor skills, developing better social skills or sorting out any behavioural problems- is going to be of benefit, whether the child develops schizophrenia or not, says Ms Matheson.  Children with at least one first-or second degree relative (ie. Parent, sibling, or aunt, uncle) with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder were not considered by the study to be as vulnerable to developing schizophrenia as children who displayed the three risk markers mentioned earlier, but were more vulnerable than children who were considered to be typically developing. Previous studies have found that social skills competency in people with schizophrenia is associated with better functioning in the community and predicts positive vocational functioning, regardless of cognitive abilities, and or social skills training is an effective way to improve social interactions.” I know one of the questions to ask is can it help an adult.  I read and know a lot of schizophrenics would like to socialize more than they do now.  It would also help them find employment.

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