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Psychosis

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Psychosis is a mental state related very closely to schizophrenia, but should not be confused with the disease known for hearing voices. Psychosis is considered a chronic mental illness, although some patients are able to make a reasonable recovery that requires little treatment. Psychosis refers to a condition where the patient has lost their ability to distinguish reality, their own whereabouts, logic reasoning, and even clearly understand time. Whether the break from reality is a result of severe trauma or the brain’s inability to cope with another mental illness, psychosis has some pretty devastating effects.

PSYCHOSIS CAUSES

There are several different causes associated with psychosis, although none of them can determine why one patient might slip into psychosis while another patient exhibiting the same risky behaviors might not. Brain tumors, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia are all physical factors that often cause psychosis. Brain tumors can sometimes lead to psychosis. Alcohol and drug abuse can lead to psychosis, especially new drugs that hit the street without the long winded street history that often accompanies drug use. A psychotic depression can cause psychosis, which is often brought on by extreme trauma. Bipolar disorder has been related to almost 14% of psychosis cases.

PSYCHOSIS SYMPTOMS

It is hard to determine whether or not a patient is actually experiencing the symptoms of psychosis, simply because the victim is often unable to relay their true thoughts and feelings during the interview process of diagnosis. However, some symptoms remain consistent and clear. Mania, depression, suicidal tendencies, loss of touch with reality, disorganized or unintentional thought or speech patterns, depression, an unusual display of emotional expression, paranoia, delusions, disorganization as it relates to thought and speech patterns, and extreme confusion can all be symptoms of psychosis. It is not uncommon for the victim of psychosis to barely register that anyone is around to place them in a safe environment, let alone to evaluate their behavior. Patients suffering from psychosis often lose their short term memory.
psychosis
Image: Psychosis

PSYCHOSIS DIAGNOSIS

Diagnosis occurs through visual examination, observation, and testing. Testing may include an MRI of the brain drug screenings, and test specifically for syphilis, as untreated syphilis can lead to severe behavioral changes. These tests are most often used to rule out primary diseases while looking for an underlying cause for the disease.

Often clinical testing is not necessary, as behavioral observations can determine the patient’s mental status. There is not clinical test for psychosis, which can make it even more difficult to determine the absence of the illness rather than the presence of it, such as in claims of insanity during a criminal trial.

PSYCHOSIS TREATMENT

Treatment can be very expensive, and most patients with psychosis are not able to handle full time employment, and thus have no medical insurance to defer the costs. Without family members who are able to provide care and help with the necessary paperwork, many patients with psychosis end up out on the streets.

Continued hospitalization is often necessary to ensure patient safety. Patients with psychosis are highly prone to self injury, although they are rarely capable of hurting another individual, animal or human, despite the misconception that the movies and television have brought into society’s understanding. Chronic hospitalization turns into institutionalization due to the expense of keeping patients with psychosis in a hospital. Thus, patients often become warehoused, medicated against their will, and trapped between their world and the world of the sane.


Medications that dispel the main symptoms of psychosis are aimed at gearing the patient toward less likelihood of hearing voices and understanding their own surroundings. These medicines have a dramatic effect on their ability to function with side effects that can be brutal enough for patients to stop taking it. Group therapy, individual therapy, and family counseling can often provide support for patients who are frustrated and want to return to their own state of “normalcy.”

With long term treatment, many patients can find relief, develop coping skills, and eventually lead a nearly normal life. Every patient is different, and the prospect for a good prognosis depends just as much on family support as it does on the proper medication, the patient’s ability to withstand the medicine, and their desire to achieve their place in society.
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Medication commonly used for these disease:

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