Psychotic women react strongly to daily life stresses

~now from personal experience this was y theory all along.

Women with psychosis show a more emotional reaction to daily life stresses than men with psychosis, report researchers whose findings also suggest that women may be more susceptible to a schizoaffective expression of schizophrenia than men.

To determine whether gender differences in the clinical expression of psychosis are reflected in one underlying mechanism ñ stress sensitivity in daily life ñ Inez Myin-Germeys (Maastricht University, The Netherlands) and colleagues used the Experience Sampling Method to assess 43 psychotic patients who were in clinical remission. Of these, 22 were male and 20 were female.

The team looked at the participants’ ability to deal with stress related to daily events, as well as determining whether the emotional response of the individuals to such stress was conceptualized as changes in negative or positive affect, or both.

The data, collected between 1997 and 1999, showed that women reported a significantly increased emotional reactivity to daily stress in comparison with men, reflected in both an increase in negative affect and a decrease in positive affect. This suggests that women are more vulnerable to the effects of daily life stress than men, Myin-Germeys et al report in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

“Part of the sensitivity to stress may be genetically determined,” they write, “but environmental exposures may also contribute and may explain the apparent differences between male and female patients.”

The researchers note that the increased stress sensitivity in women, compared with men, “corresponds with the idea that men and women are susceptible to different dimensions of variation in schizophrenia.”

Women appear to have preponderance to the affective rather than the cognitive pathway, they comment, with disease characterized as episodic, and reactive, with a high level of positive symptoms, and a good outcome.

“These results suggest that gender differences may not be limited to the characteristics of psychotic disorders but may also be reflected in underlying etiologic mechanisms,” Myin-Germeys and team conclude.

J Clin Psychiatry 2004; 65: 805-809

Posted by bbeard on 08/18 at 09:31 AM in Personal

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