Urban Dwellers at Higher Risk of Psychosis

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Sept. 11 (UPI) — Urban residents are more likely to develop psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia and paranoid disorders than those in rural areas, a Swedish study says.

The study found the poorer and “less stable” the neighborhood an individual grew up in was — including areas with many single-parent families moving in and out frequently –- the more likely they were to suffer some form of psychosis as an adult, the Toronto Globe and Mail reported Friday.

Although the risk for developing a psychotic illness mostly comes from individual characteristics such as family history or drug use, a person’s environment is important, lead author Stanely Zammit of Cardiff University in Wales said.

“Our findings highlight the concern that physical integration alone is not sufficient but that … a localized sense of safety, cohesion and community spirit must also be maintained to enhance the mental health of individuals within the population,” he said.

“The level of trust, social networks and bonds,” affects an individual’s risk of developing mental disorders, Zammit said.

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