Spiritual emergency (SEY) refers to a process of spiritual emergence (SE) or awakening that becomes traumatic for an individual, leading to a state of psychological crisis. There is evidence that SE(Y) is associated with both psychotic symptomatology and personality traits. This study examined the relationship between SE(Y), psychotic symptoms, and schizotypy, a construct that addresses psychotic-like personality traits in the general population. A total of 250 participants completed an anonymous online questionnaire. Results showed that SE(Y) was positively correlated with positive symptoms of psychosis and schizotypy, but demonstrated only very weak to no correlations with negative symptoms of psychosis and schizotypy. The results also showed that disorganized schizotypy mediated the relationship between positive schizotypy and crisis; and positive schizotypy mediated the relationship between disorganized schizotypy and crisis. The clinical implications of these results include the identification of measurable clinical and personality markers that may help: (1) differentiate between SE(Y) and cases of clinical psychosis that have a poor prognosis, and (2) identify individuals who are at risk of experiencing the potentially debilitating effects of SE(Y).
Harris, K. P., Rock, A. J., & Clark, G. I. (2019). Spiritual emergency, psychosis, and personality: Investigating the role of schizotypy. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 38(2), 1-30.