Psychotic illnesses &
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Having determined 'what psychosis
is', the symptoms it involves & some of the possible causes; we now turn our attention to disorders
that involve 'psychosis'. Two key aspects to be highlighted here are (1) the diagnosis of a particular
disorder often relates to 'time frames' in relation to the existence of psychotic symptoms & (2) in
some cases, a psychotic presentation, initially diagnosed as one type that might be expected to 'resolve'
in time, may develop into a more permanent condition and therefore the requirement for re-assessment & a change
in diagnosis; the most notable of these involves 'drug induced
psychosis' that has been well known to develop into 'Schizophrenia'. It is also important to keep in mind that the
'severity' of the psychosis does not necessarily translate to a more sinsiter, potentially untreatable
& seriously permanent disorder or condition. Substance induced psychosis is, again, a perfect example of
this; when the substance is withdrawn & after a relatively short time, the psychotic symptoms may
disappear, after having been incredibly 'florid' initially.
Below are some of the illnesses, disorders & conditions that
involve psychosis or psychotic components in their presentation. Oft times, it is difficult to
'differentiate' between illnesses or disorders and the clinician may provide an alternative/s to the
'exclude' other illnesses & 'narrow the diagnosis', with the aim of establishing a more
complete & accurate diagnosis. The reason is the determination of the most appropriate ultimate treatment for
the individual involved. This will aid in the 'best possible' treatment; the greater likelihood of success
in any intervention undertaken and the optimisation of the individual's quality of life. These are
referred to as 'differential diagnoses'. An example of this would be that of 'Schizoaffective Disorder' which can have a similar presentation to
'Bipolar Disorder' - one may be considered the diagnosis; the other
the differential diagnosis.
Assessments, mental state examinations, physical & psychological
testing, observation, history & collateral information from others are some of the key factors in
the establishment of any mental illness. This is necessary largely because of the individual sufferer's
incapacity to provide lucid and accurate information themselves; by virtue of their psychotic
disorders that involve Psychosis
- a 'life-long' illness with
psychotic symptoms of varying intensity and psycho-social
functioning of differing capacity. Hallucinations & delusions
are prominent. These psychotic (positive features) need to
have continued for a period of, at least six (6) months.
both 'mood' related and psychotic symptoms. Sometimes
difficult to diagnosis because of its inherant similarity to both
'Schizophrenia' & 'Bipolar Disorder'.
depressive & manic phases can result in 'psychotic
symptoms'. Generally at the 'extreme' ends of the mood
spectrum and similarly extreme in their presentation.
or more specifically, Major Depressive Episode (MDE) with
Psychotic features (often referred to as 'Psychotic
- psychotic symptoms caused by substances,
particularly illicit drugs such as 'methamphetamine'
(speed), 'ecsatsy' (MDMA), 'marijuana',
'cocaine'; but also alcohol & certain prescription
- the key word is 'brief'; with symptoms
lasting from one (1) day to one (1) month. Often as a result of an
Psychosis - includes many conditions, illnesses &
disorders that affect the brain
physically. This results in damage to the nerve pathways
& disrupts neurotransmission & the neurotransmitters themselves; resulting in
the development of psychotic symptoms. As such, it can often be considered as
'not a stand-alone illness', but rather a type of
psychosis generated by another primary illness. A secondary
disorder or 'presentation' that resembles closely that of
Schizophrenia, though the manifested psychotic symptoms are more
than one (1) month, but less than six (6) months.
psychotic symptoms evidenced after the
birth of a child; generally considered around 4 weeks afterward.
Much the same as 'post-natal depression' can occur, so too may
psychosis. It may also be intrinsically linked to the 'depression' experienced by the
predominant feature is that of 'delusions'; particularly
delusions that superficially appear 'plausible'; therefore
'non-bizarre', as one would generally see with illnesses
such as 'Schizophrenia'.
Perhaps one of the main purposes in a need to understand these
illnesses and gain an overview of psychosis and Schizophrenia particularly, is related to the effect of certain illicit drugs and their short term, long term and, at times, permanent consequences.
Should you have concerns regarding any issue relating
to your 'mental or physical well-being', 'Kick off' strongly recommend you seek professional assistance. This may entail contacting your
GP or similar clinician (Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Counsellor etc.). You may also contact the appropriate
agency or service that might assist you. Irrespective of your choice, ensure you see someone who
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