Interpersonal sensitivity (IS) defines feelings of inner-fragility in the presence of others due to the expectation of criticism or rejection. IS was found to be related to attenuated positive psychotic symptom during the prodromal phase of psychosis. The aims of this study were to examine if high level of IS at baseline predict persistence of subtle positive psychotic symptoms at follow up and its relationship with other longitudinal psychopathological features. A sample of 103 subjects taken from the total baseline sample (367 adolescents and young adults help-seekers for psychological problems recruited within “Liberiamo il futuro” project) completed a 18-months follow up. Of these, 84 completed the Interpersonal Sensitivity Measure (IPSM) and the Structured Interview for Prodromal Symptoms (SIPS) at baseline; they were assessed again with the SIPS at follow up. Result showed that individuals with high level of IS at baseline reported high level of attenuated positive psychotic symptoms (i.e. unusual thought content), symptoms of depression and low tolerance to daily stressful events at follow up. This study suggests that being “hypersensitive” to interpersonal interactions is a psychological feature associated with attenuated positive psychotic symptoms, symptoms of depression and low tolerance to daily stressful events at 18-moths follow up. Assessing and treating inner-self fragilities may be an important step of early detection program to avoid the persistence of subtle but very distressing long-terms symptoms.
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