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In anxiety disorders with a lot of research on the effectiveness of treatment procedure it is important to consider patients’ implicit attitude towards mental health services, especially psychological help.
To investigate the attitude towards psychological help in anxiety disorders.
In order to reconstruct an implicit attitude towards psychological help the method of color-emotional semantic associations (Kiselnikov et al., 2014) was used. Ten patients with anxiety disorders and 25 subjects from control group with no history of attending mental health services evaluated subjective differences between 15 semantic objects, 10 basic emotions and 10 colors. Factor analysis was used.
The analysis revealed the two-factor structure: “Valence” and “Arousal”. The semantic object “Psychological help” got 0.92 and 0.72 as first factor loadings and 0.26 and -0.65 as second factor loadings in anxiety disorders and in control group, respectively. The comparison showed a more intense and positive attitude towards psychological help in anxiety disorders. Contrariwise, the data for other semantic objects showed the tendency of more intense and negative evaluations in the clinical group.
In anxiety disorders a shift in the categorical structure of consciousness to more negative and intense attitudes could be associated to anxiety and threat readiness. However, the attitude towards psychological help was an exception as more intense and positive which could be considered as an important factor of the effectiveness of the treatment in anxiety disorders. The research was supported by Russian Foundation for Basic Research with the Grant 17-29-02506.
The experimental research of visual perceptual processes in schizophrenia could shed a light on the psychological mechanisms of development of the illness.
To research the performance of visual perceptual tasks and its correlation with the symptom severity in patients with schizotypal disorder (SD).
40 patients with SD in ICD-10 (mean age 29.8±8.3 years) were enrolled to the study. The Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale (PANSS) and two series of visual-perceptual tasks (Figures of Witkin and Goldstein) were applied. In series I subject should make a decision whether a complex figure contains a simple one without any feedback from the experimenter (all 96 trials). In series II each trial included two complex figures presented simultaneously (all 96 trials) that increased the visual-perceptual load. Statistical significance was ascertained by Spearman’s rank correlation.
Negative correlations were established between the number of right answers in series II of visual perceptual tasks and emotional withdrawal (r=-0.78, p≤0.01), passive/apathetic social withdrawal (r=-0.53, p≤0.05). Time of performance of series I and series II had negative correlations with preoccupation (r=-0.55 and r=-0.53, p≤0.05, respectively).
The decrease in the productivity of visual perceptual tasks performance in case of additional load relates with reduced social and emotional dimensions of symptoms (social initiation, passivity, lack of sociality and inattention in daily activity, etc.) of patients with SD. Impulsivity in solutions (reduction of decision-making time) is associated with the increase of preoccupation with feelings, thoughts and autistic fantasies that lead to social and daily life disadaptation.
Shame and guilt are often discussed in their association with depression. However, there is a need in deeper understanding of relationship between these emotions and depressive symptoms in personality disorders, where affective patterns do not reach the level of clinical depression.
To examine the differences in shame and guilt levels in normal subjects and patients with personality disorders and their association with depressive symptoms.
In total, 28 patients (M=36.07, SD=11.87) diagnosed with personality disorders and 76 (M=29.67, SD=8.87) healthy individuals were recruited to take part in this study. Patients and healthy controls had equivalent educational level. Participants were given two standardized tests: Beck Depression Inventory and Test of Self-Conscious Affect (TOSCA) – 3.
There were significant differences in levels of guilt between patients with personality disorders (M=64.79, SD=6.78) and healthy individuals (M = 59.92, SD = 11.86), t (102) = 2.603, p = .011. Patients also demonstrated higher levels of shame (M=47.86, SD=9.70) than the participants without diagnoses (M = 43.38, SD = 14.96), however, these differences were not significant t (102) = 1.47, p > .05. It was found that depressive symptoms in normal population but not in patients significantly correlated with levels of guilt (r(76) = .124, p <.01) and shame (r(76)=.188, p<.01).
It might be assumed that shame and guilt play different roles in emotional sphere of healthy individuals and patients with personality disorders, being associated with depressive symptoms in norm and unrelated to depressive symptoms in personality disorders.
As significance of medically unexplained symptoms increases in general practice it is important to discuss psychopathological comorbidity regarding the impact of health anxiety indicating sufferers excessive care use.
To study the impact of health anxiety in depression with somatic symptoms.
50 patients with depression with somatic symptoms compared to 79 patients with psychodermatological disorders with complaints of pathological skin sensations completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the Short Health Anxiety Inventory (SHAI). The Mann-Whitney U-Test was applied. The psychosemantic method “Classification of sensations” was used to differentiate patients’ bodily experience. Factor analysis was performed.
Scores on HADS-anxiety and SHAI were significantly higher in depression (U=645, p=0.009; U=89.5; p=0.036), although there were no significant differences on HADS-depression. Factor analysis showed a polarization of bodily experience categories in depression as the first factor (38% of total variance) included negative emotions with somatic sensations of exhaustion and the second factor (10% of total variance) included pleasant sensations and positive emotions with the negative sign of factor loadings. In psychodermatological disorders the first factor (31% of total variance) was quite similar, however the second factor (12% of total variance) included skin and general somatic sensations illustrating the higher concern with somatic symptoms.
Higher health anxiety in depression with somatic symptoms compared to psychodermatological disorders (more concerned with bodily experience) could be associated with patients’ complaints of emotional state indicating differences in psychological mechanisms. The research was supported by Russian Foundation for Basic Research with the Grant 20-013-00799.
Dysfunctional emotional competence is known as one of the key characteristics of patients with schizotypal disorder. Methods that aim to assess this problem are differently organized and might elicit these deficits differently. Therefore, there is a need in better understanding of scope of problems that might be assessed using different tools in patients with schizotypal disorder.
To examine the differences in affective empathy and perception of emotions in normal subjects and patients with schizotypal disorder.
The sample consisted of 14 patients with schizotypal disorder (F21) (M=19.07, SD=3.17) and 53 healthy individuals (M=22.98, SD=2.77) with equal educational level. Participants were given Affective Responsiveness Test (AR) and Emotional Perspective Taking (ERT) (Derntl et al, 2009) and “Reading the Mind in the Eyes” (RME) Test (Baron-Cohen et al., 2001).
There were significant differences in accuracy of ERT performance between patients with schizotypal disorder (M=80.64, SD=8.17) and healthy individuals (M = 86.62, SD = 8.67), t (65) = -2.32, p = .023. Patients were also found to give less correct answers than healthy controls while carrying out AR, and to need more time for both tasks. However, these differences were not statistically significant. Surprisingly, no significant differences were found for perception of emotions (RME) test, although patients in general gave less correct answers.
It might be assumed that EPT is the most sensitive tool in assessing emotional deficits in patients with schizotypal disorders. Further research is needed to understand the possible reasons for other tests not showing significant results.
Despite the intense discussion of psychiatric comorbidity in psychodermatology, research on psychological components of skin picking and psychogenic itch is limited, especially when it concerns patients’ representation of skin perception and their attitude towards disease.
To characterize psychological traits of skin picking and psychogenic itch disorder by comparing aspects of bodily experience.
To reveal internal relations of different components of bodily experience in skin picking and psychogenic itch.
Thirty patients with skin picking disorder (L98.1) and 18 patients with psychogenic itch (F45.8) participated in the study. The psychosemantic method “Classification of sensations” was used to assess bodily experience. It includes estimation of 80 descriptors from 6 classes of bodily sensations: skin (ex. “itch”), inner body (ex. “sickness”), receptor (ex. “sticky”), emotional (ex. “anxiety”), dynamics (ex. “exhaustion”) and attitudinal descriptors (ex. “bad”). Cluster and factor analysis were performed.
The most significant aspect of bodily experience in skin picking was its dynamics as a transition from irritation to calmness connected with the sensation of itch opposed to all other sensations (there were opposite signs of factor loadings of these variables and they were included in the factor explaining 45% of total variance). In contrast, in psychogenic itch these relations are diffuse and consist of connections between skin sensations and inner bodily sensations and descriptors of emotions reflecting functional origin of disorder.
Traits of psychological components in skin picking disorder and psychogenic itch should be concerned in the complex (psychiatric, psychological and dermatological) treatment of these disorders.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
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