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Psychosis is a psychological disorder in which the mental state of the person is altered, causing him to live in two worlds simultaneously, in the real world and in his imagination, but he cannot differentiate them and often they become merge.
The main symptom of psychosis is delusions. In other words, the person in a state of psychosis cannot distinguish reality from fantasy and, therefore, does not know how to situate himself in time and space and has many schisms. A psychotic person may think that the downstairs neighbor wants to kill them, even though they are aware that no one lives in the apartment downstairs, for example.
It is important that the person with psychotic behavior is accompanied by a psychotherapist and psychiatrist so that the most appropriate treatment can be carried out, and in most cases the use of antipsychotic drugs and mood stabilizers is recommended.
In general, the psychotic person is more agitated, aggressive and impulsive, in addition to presenting other symptoms such as:
- Hallucinations like hearing voices;
- Disorganized speech, jumping between various topics of conversation;
- Disorganized behavior, being able to spend very agitated or very slow periods;
- Sudden mood swings being very happy one moment and depressed the next;
- Difficulty getting along with other people;
- Aggressiveness and self-harm.
Psychosis usually appears in young people or adolescents and can be transient, being called brief psychotic disorder, or be related to other psychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorder, Alzheimer's, epilepsy, schizophrenia, or depression, being also common in users drugs.
Psychosis does not have a single cause, but several related factors can lead to its emergence. Some factors that contribute to the development of a psychosis are:
- Diseases that affect the central nervous system such as Alzheimer's, stroke, AIDS, Parkinson's;
- Severe insomnia, where the person goes more than 7 days without sleep;
- Use of hallucinogenic substances;
- Use of illicit drugs;
- Moment of great stress;
- Deep depression.
To arrive at the diagnosis of psychosis, the psychiatrist must observe the person personally, trying to identify the symptoms presented, but he may also request blood tests, x-rays, tomography and magnetic resonance imaging to try to identify if there is any change that may be causing psychosis or mistaking other illnesses.
How the treatment is done
Treatment for psychosis should be directed by a psychiatrist and consists of the use of antipsychotic drugs and mood stabilizers such as risperidone, haloperidol, lorazepam or carbamazepine.
Often, in addition to medication, it is necessary to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital where treatments can be performed with electrical devices for electroconvulsive therapy. However, the Ministry of He alth only approves this therapy in specific situations such as imminent risk of suicide, catatonia or neuroleptic malignant syndrome, for example.
The hospitalization can take 1 to 2 months until the person is better and can be discharged because he is no longer able to put his life and that of others at risk, but to keep the person under control the psychiatrist can still keep the medicines that can be taken for years.
In addition, weekly sessions with the psychologist or psychiatrist may be useful to reorganize ideas and feel better, as long as the person takes the medication correctly.
In the case of postpartum psychosis, the doctor can also prescribe medication and when the psychosis puts the baby's life at risk, the mother can be removed from the baby, even requiring hospitalization. Usually after treatment the symptoms disappear and the woman returns to normal, but there is a risk that she will have a new psychotic condition in another postpartum period.