The empathy in drug addicts with co-morbid diagnoses of personality disorder, schizophrenia and other psychotic disordersReport as inadecuate




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Medicina, Vol.44 No.3-4 December 2008. -

Aim: Deficit of empathy is evident in personality disorders and psychoses. The aim of this study was to investigate the capacity of empathy in drug addicts treated in Psychiatric hospital Lopača.

Methods: The patients were divided into two groups. The first group was comprised of drug addicts without associated psychotic episodes, i.e. drug addicts which did not experience psychotic decompensation during drug consummation. The second group was comprised of drug addicts with co-morbid diagnoses of schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders, or drug addicts who showed psychotic patterns of behavior. We used the Interpersonal reactivity index – IRI for the measurement of empathy capacity.

Results: Addicts with co-morbid diagnoses of schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders F20-F29 show significantly higher level of empathy, especially affective empathy.

Discussion and conclusion: The results of this research are consistent with previous studies and indicate that patients suffering from psychotic disorders show some level of empathy compared to patients suffering from personality disorders, despite their deficit of affect. The results of this study rise many questions about the emotional status of drug addicts. Should addicts, without co-morbid diagnoses of psychotic disorders, be diagnosed as personality disorders? Is their personality disorder the reason why they show lack of empathy? Can prolonged hospitalization and frequent contact with other psychiatric patients result lead to development of understanding for others, despite the fact that emotional deficit is characteristic for psychotic disorders? Do addicts with co-morbidity of psychotic disorder have only a mild personality disorder?

addiction; emotional intelligence; empathy; psychopathy; psychoses



Author: Daša Bosanac - orcid.org-0000-0001-7615-2762 ; Psychiatric hospital Lopača, Dražice, Croatia

Source: http://hrcak.srce.hr/



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