Psychosis

May 2017


Definition


Psychosis is a psychiatric term that defines a mental illness in which the patient is unaware of his troubles. This is a generic term that refers to a loss of contact with reality. Psychoses have in common the presence of a delusion, an erroneous view of reality with ideas that are contrary to facts, a dissociative syndrome, and disorders that affect intellectual functioning, behavior and emotions. Psychosis usually occurs in young adults, but signs suggestive of a psychotic evolution can be detected sometimes as early as childhood. This disease is incurable and lifelong. There are two major categories of psychosis with schizophrenia on the one hand, and non-chronic schizophrenic psychoses on the other.

Symptoms

  • Psychosis occurs with: delusions, not corresponding to reality;
  • personality disorders;
  • disorders of thought that often make the person appear disorganized;
  • emotional disorders;
  • strange behavior with mood changes;
  • sometimes, an impulse to commit violent acts against oneself and others;
  • difficulties in social integration and a deterioration in the quality of everyday life.

All these symptoms are definitely not recognized by the patient.

Diagnosis


The diagnosis of psychosis will be based on the observation of clinical signs and made usually after several interviews. A number of additional tests, such as blood tests and sometimes a CT scan will be performed to eliminate a possible organic origin of these symptoms.

Treatment


Psychosis should be treated early for efficiency. The treatment of such disorders is based on a combination of drugs, antipsychotics, and psychiatric care. This support is also assured by family members. An individual suffering from psychosis may, after a long period of care, manage his disease with regular monitoring.

Prevention


Some suggestive signs of a possible evolution towards psychosis can be detected in childhood. An early diagnosis allows for faster support and often prevents a possible autistic withdrawal.

Related

Original article published by . Translated by Jeff. Latest update on July 23, 2013 at 11:34 AM by Jeff.
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