Poor social functioning in childhood predicts an increased risk for schizophrenia later in life, suggest researchers.
They found that premorbid social functioning, as rated by teachers on a Likert-type scale, significantly differentiated children who developed schizophrenia-spectrum disorder from those who did not develop mental illness and those who developed other psychiatric disorders.
Also, social functioning appeared to predict the risk for schizophrenia independently of genetic risk, and with little interaction between these two factors.
“[R]esults from this 48-year longitudinal record suggest that children on a trajectory toward schizophrenia-spectrum disorders demonstrate interpersonal deficits early in life, and that teachers provide valuable information regarding children’s social functioning,” write lead researcher Jason Schiffman (University of Maryland, Baltimore, USA) and colleagues in Schizophrenia Research.
My interpersonal problems started at a young age. I found it hard to make friends, and i was not as close to my brother and sister growing up as they were to each other. I was into solitary pursuits and something of a loner.
I was bullied as a teenager for being physically and socially awkward. My initial diagnosis was schizophrenia then schizoaffective and now paranoid PD -a schizophrenia spectrum personality disorder.