Psychotic Disorders

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Psychosis is a mental disorder characterized by paranoia, delusions, and hallucinations. In more simple words, it is a condition in which the person has lost contact with reality. Patients suffering from psychotic disorders have varying degrees of thought impairment and personality changes. Depending on the severity, the patients may have abnormal behavior, difficulty in dealing with social challenges or carrying out day-to-day activities.

6 Main Causes of Psychotic Disorders

  1. Heredity
  2. Trauma
  3. Other coexisting mental disorders
  4. Common mental disorders
  5. Alcoholism
  6. Medications

Types of Psychotic Disorders

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that Eugene Bleuler first described in the early 20th century. The word schizophrenia means “Split mind,” and it should not be confused with the term split personality disorder.

Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Symptoms associated with schizophrenia can be broadly classified into two categories:

  1. Positive Symptoms: When there is an addition to existing behavior or personality. Examples include delusions, hallucinations, agitation, and talkativeness.
  2. Negative Symptoms: When the patient loses a part of their behavior or personality. Examples include demotivation, social withdrawal, anhedonia, flattened affect, and cognitive disturbances.

4 Stages of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a progressive mental disorder, and the symptoms progress from mild to moderate over time. There are five well-defined phases of schizophrenia that are found in the majority of patients.

  • Risk stage

The patients in this stage don’t have the disease, but they have an increased risk of getting the disease in the future. Conditions like positive family history, perinatal infections in kids, and cannabis abuse in adults are found to have a role in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. The disease in this phase is partially preventable, or its severity can be reduced.

  • The Prodromal Stage

Patients in the Prodromal phase have mild symptoms. There is no disability or loss of function, and the disease can be diagnosed at this stage by proper examination and investigations. The prodromal stage is characterized by mild social isolation, reduced school or work performance, and bizarre thinking.

  • The Psychotic Stage

The disease at this stage has reached a point where there is a loss of reality, delusions, and hallucinations. The patient is unable to work or function properly. There are frequent episodes having both positive and negative symptoms. The disease at this stage is treatable, and the severity of symptoms can be reduced.

  • Chronic Disability Stage

When the patient has the disease for a long duration, the positive symptoms of the disease are entirely replaced by negative ones. The patient is entirely isolated, and there is no response to social or emotional stimuli. Schizophrenia in the chronic disability stage cannot be treated. Treatment at this stage aims to alleviate the severity of the disease and make the patient be handled easily.

Other Important Types of Psychotic Disorders Include

  • Psychotic Depression: Psychosis accompanied by the symptoms of depression is called psychotic depression.
  • Schizoaffective Disorder: When the symptomsofschizophrenia are present along with the symptoms of mood disorder, it is called Schizoaffective disorder.
  • Drug-Induced Psychosis: Different drugs like methamphetamine, LSD, and MDMA can result in Psychosis. If the symptoms of Psychosis can be identified, their use should be stopped immediately.

How To Classify a Psychotic Disorder As Schizophrenia

  1. The patient needs to have at least one episode of Psychosis.
  2. Thought, behavior, and speech are persistently disturbed.
  3. Lack of ability to function socially and occupationally.
  4. The condition should at least last for six months.

We Can Help You!

Dr. Nibras at the Novus Beginning Psychiatry has extensive experience in treating patients with psychotic disorders. The treatment approach includes the use of traditional and atypical antipsychotic drugs, use of mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and psychotherapy.

We at the Novus Beginning Psychiatry have personalized plans for a wide range of patients. We can deal with the challenges of psychotic disorders in children, teenagers, young adults, and couples.

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