Understanding Psychosis and Psychiatric Disorders

Psychosis and Psychiatric Disorders

Understanding Psychosis and Psychiatric Disorders

If you’re hearing voices, seeing things that aren’t there, or acting strangely then it may be time to start thinking about psychosis. Psychosis is a mental illness that can cause people to have false beliefs and see or hear things that are not real. However, psychosis isn’t always scary. Some people with psychotic disorders are able to lead normal lives while others need more help due to the severity of their symptoms. This post will outline the different types of psychosis and how they affect patients’ daily life in order for readers to better understand what this disorder entails so they can recognize when someone needs medical attention.

There are many different types of psychotic disorders and they have been classified into four main groups: schizophrenia, bipolar disorder with psychotic features, schizoaffective disorder and delusional disorder.

Symptoms of psychosis

The symptoms of psychosis can vary from patient to patient and depend on which disorder is being experienced. Symptoms may include hallucinations, delusions, racing thoughts or strange behavior. In order for a person to be diagnosed with psychosis they must show two of these symptoms:

 

  •     Delusions – false beliefs that are not based in reality (e.g., paranoid type)
  •     Hallucinations – seeing or hearing something that is not there
  •     Racing thoughts, disorganized speech and behavior
  •     Negative symptoms such as a lack of emotion, lack of interest in daily activities and an overall flat demeanor with no expression.

For the most part patients experiencing psychosis only show slight changes in their personality but sometimes these symptoms can become more severe and the person experiencing them will require medical attention.

Causes of Psychosis

The exact cause of psychosis is not known but genetics, head injuries and drug use are known to trigger the illness.

  •     People with a family history of psychotic disorders may be more likely to experience them
  •     Head trauma or brain damage can also cause psychosis
  •     Drugs like methamphetamine (meth), cocaine, ecstasy and LSD can all lead to an increase in hallucinations and delusions which can cause psychosis.

Diagnosis

You can see a psychiatrist or other mental health professional to get a diagnosis of psychosis. These professionals will ask you about your symptoms and behaviors in order to make the proper assessment.

  •     They may use scales or checklists which are used to measure how severe an individual’s psychotic disorder is
  •     Medical tests can also be done if there is suspicion that another condition could be causing the symptoms
  •     There are also questionnaires that may be given to help diagnose psychosis. These checklists measure how severe an individual’s psychotic disorder is and will determine whether or not they require treatment.

Treatment for psychosis

Psychosis is treated by a team of experts, including psychiatrists and psychologists who work together to help patients manage their symptoms. Treatment can involve medication and therapy in order for the patient to live a normal life while recovering from this mental illness. Antipsychotic medications are usually used when treating people with psychotic disorders because they reduce delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized speech.

These medications do not cure psychosis; however, they can help manage the symptoms in order for a patient to live a normal life while recovering from this disorder.

Medical Treatment for Psychosis

Treatment for psychosis depends on the type of disorder and how severe it is. Patients with psychotic disorders will typically require medication and therapy to help manage their symptoms.

  •     Antipsychotic medications are usually given to patients experiencing positive or negative symptoms
  •     Antipsychotics work by blocking dopamine receptors in the brain which helps reduce hallucinations, delusions and other psychotic behaviors
  •     Doctors may also prescribe antidepressants and mood stabilizers to treat patients experiencing bipolar disorder with psychosis due to their ability to reduce mania, depression, hallucinations and delusions.

Medical conditions

Postictal psychosis (PIP) is a type of psychosis that occurs following seizures. It is important to note, however, that PIP can occur in people who do not have any history of mental illness or neurological conditions. This condition may last for hours or days after an epileptic seizure and it affects men more often than women due to hormonal changes during their menstrual cycle.

PIP is usually associated with temporal lobe epilepsy, but frontal and occipital lobe epilepsies can also trigger this condition.

PIP affects people who are otherwise healthy or those who have a history of psychiatric illness or brain damage. Men tend to be more affected than women by PIP because hormonal changes during their menstrual cycle may play a role in triggering this condition.

Female hormone shifts

Some women have menstrual psychosis due to the changes in their hormones during their menstrual cycle. This condition occurs most often during days one through three of a woman’s period and is characterized by delusions, visual hallucinations, bizarre behavior and disorganized speech.

  •     Hormonal shifts cause women to experience psychotic symptoms
  •     This condition usually subsides once a woman begins her next menstrual cycle
  •     This disorder is more common in women who are menstruating for the first time or are approaching menopause.

Psychotherapy for psychosis

Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy is another form of treatment that can help patients experiencing psychotic behaviors. There are many different types of therapies available but the main goal for each one is to teach new ways to cope with stress and bring about healthy behavior changes in order to reduce symptoms. These different forms of psychotherapy include:

  •     Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: helps patients learn to manage their emotions and understand how certain behaviors affect thoughts
  •     Dialectical Behavior Therapy: helps patients develop coping skills for dealing with stress
  •     Family Based Treatment: teaches family members about the disorder and ways they can help support their loved one. 
  •     Insight Oriented Psychotherapy: attempts to help patients gain insight into their condition and why they are experiencing certain symptoms

Psychosis is a term used to describe someone who has lost touch with reality. Psychotic disorders are characterized by delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized speech which can be caused by an underlying medical condition or mental illness. When treating this disorder, doctors typically prescribe antipsychotics that work by blocking dopamine receptors in the brain while also providing therapy for patients experiencing psychotic symptoms.  If you have any questions about psychosis or would like more information on how it relates to your own business strategy contact our team of experts today!

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