Men and women at risk for psychosis experience different emotions and symptoms

The subjective experiences of individuals at risk for psychosis differ depending on gender, reports a new study published in Psychiatric Services in Advance.

Women seem to be more concerned with past traumas and a family history of psychosis, while men describe feeling alienated and in need of social connection.

For the study, researchers conducted interviews with 27 participants who had a significant clinical risk for psychosis.

By understanding how both genders cope with their experiences, intervention approaches can better prevent the onset of symptoms or manage the condition in individuals who already have it, the researchers said.

Males need support, women need a plan

The male experience of isolation suggests that they might need more group-focused interventions.

"The existential pain for them was such that they sought escape, largely into fantasy," the team wrote. "This constellation poses a significant challenge for treatment and recovery, because it reflects low self-esteem (‘broken’) and maladjusted coping (‘escape’); however, their desire to have relationships represents a potential base for forming treatment alliances in supportive and behaviorally based therapy."

Women, on the other hand, were concerned with the future: building careers, dealing with social obligations, or sorting through past trauma.

"Females might benefit from treatment services with extended hours that accommodate their busy days of work and school and from more trauma-oriented therapy focused on emotion regulation.”

Source: Psychiatric News

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