Causes, symptoms and treatment of psychosis
Psychosis is a pronounced form of mental disorders. The companions of psychosis are delusional states, sudden changes in mood, hallucinations, states of excitement, uncontrollable or depressive behavior, impaired thinking and the complete lack of the ability to critically assess their condition.
- Causes of psychosis
- Symptoms of psychosis
- Diagnosis of psychosis
- Treatment of psychosis
Causes of psychosis
The onset of psychosis is facilitated by causes with various characteristics. The causes of psychosis are primarily classified according to internal and external factors. The presence of external factors leads to the development of an exogenous type of psychosis. External sources of psychosis are considered: a variety of infections (flu, syphilis, typhus, tuberculosis, and so on), alcohol and drug addiction, industrial poisons, any stress or trauma of a psychological nature. The leader of external causes is alcohol, its abuse results in alcoholic psychosis.
Internal factors that influence the development of psychosis lead to the manifestation of an endogenous type of psychosis. Sources of this type are predominantly impaired functions of the nervous system and imbalance of the endocrine system. Endogenous psychosis is closely associated with age-related changes in the body, the so-called senile psychosis. It develops as a result of hypertensive processes, with damage to the blood vessels of the brain by atherosclerosis and schizophrenia.
The difference between endogenous psychosis is the duration and the possibility of repetition. This psychosis causes a complex condition in which it is problematic to establish the true causes of its occurrence. Sometimes the primary source may lie in external factors, and then it is supplemented by internal problems. Senile psychoses require separation into a separate group. As a rule, they appear not earlier than 60 years of age with endomorphic disorders and a state of clouding of consciousness, but without the development of complete dementia.
Psychosis can be reactive and acute. The reactive form includes psychoses occurring in the form of temporary reversible disorders of a mental nature and arising from any trauma of a mental type. The acute form of psychosis occurs suddenly and develops rapidly. Any unexpected news can serve as an impetus for development, for example, about the death of a close relative or the loss of something. Observations show that women are more susceptible to psychosis than men and this does not depend on race and material status.
Symptoms of psychosis
The rich psyche of a person gives the possibility of psychosis for unlimited manifestation. The main symptoms of the disease include hallucinations, the emergence of delusional ideas, movement disorders and mood disorders. Hallucinations are auditory, olfactory, visual, tactile, and gustatory. Their manifestations are in a simple (hail, call) and complex (speech) form. The most common hallucinations of an auditory nature are in the form of voices sounding in the patient's head or coming from outside.
Ideas of delusional content make judgments and conclusions that do not correspond to reality. They completely capture the patient's consciousness, while it is impossible to dissuade him or explain anything to him. The most common are delusional ideas about persecution (surveillance, intrigue), about negative impact (special services, aliens, damage, and so on), about causing damage (survival from an apartment, theft of things, poisoned food), about a terrible fatal disease. Sometimes there is delirium of grandeur, jealousy, love, and so on.
Disorders of motor functions are manifested by lethargy (stupor), when the patient maintains one position for a long time, is inactive, his gaze is directed to one point, he does not answer the questions posed and stops eating. The other side of movement disorders is the patient's stay in a state of excitement, when he is constantly in motion, speaks without stopping, sometimes makes grimaces, mimics the interlocutor, possibly aggressive, can commit an unmotivated act.
Disorders in the patient's mood are expressed by states of a depressive or manic nature. Depression can be noticed by a depressed mood, manifested in the form of melancholy, depression, mental retardation, pessimistic assessment of the past and future, and suicidal thoughts. The manic state is assessed by an unreasonably elevated mood, by the acceleration of thinking and speed of movement, by planning unreal (fantastic) prospects, by lack of sleep, by abuse of something.
A person in a state of psychosis changes in behavior, emotional expression and thinking. Such metamorphoses indicate the loss of the ability to really perceive the world around us, which is affected by the complete lack of awareness of what is happening and the inability to assess your altered psyche. Patients with altered consciousness, who are in a depressed state, resist treatment and hospitalization.
Diagnosis of psychosis
When making a diagnosis, the doctor takes as a basis the features of the symptoms manifested and the nature of the dynamics of this disorder. Many signs of psychosis appear in a mild form long before the onset of the disease and are serious harbingers of the disease. The first news of psychosis is very difficult to recognize. These include changes in character, when a person shows excessive irritability, nervousness or anxiety, his sleep is disturbed, his appetite disappears, his appearance can be described as strange or unusual.
A sign of an incipient psychosis can be a change in working capacity, which is expressed in a decline in activity, and in a sharp form, reduced resistance to stress, inability to maintain attention. Feelings can change: mood swings, the appearance of fears, depression due to trifles. Another sign is a change in habits manifested in isolation, mistrust, communication problems, and complete withdrawal into oneself. A sudden change in interests and perception (colors, sounds) can indicate the onset of psychosis.
Signs of mental distress are of concern to relatives of the patient, who begin to suspect schizophrenia, although psychosis has other causes. Therefore, it is very important to conduct a timely, thorough examination of the patient in order to avoid serious consequences, which are manifested by a psychotic state, stroke, and so on. A qualified psychiatrist finds out the real cause of psychosis using sophisticated high-tech methods.
Treatment of psychosis
Treatment of reactive psychoses at the first stage requires the elimination of the cause of the disease where possible. The reaction of an affective shock, in the absence of its transition to another state, does not require the help of a doctor. All other types of psychoses require a quick hospitalization of the patient, since the presence of psychosis does not allow him to control his actions and threatens to cause unconscious harm to himself or others.
For treatment, a clinical rationale is required - the correct diagnosis, reliable identification of the severity of the disease, psychopathic symptoms, individual characteristics of the patient's personality and his physical health. In drug therapy, psychotropic drugs are used, mainly neuroleptics, sometimes tranquilizers. Medicines of general strengthening action are added to them, if necessary - antidepressants.
To date, drugs have been created that can act selectively, only on a certain type of psychosis. In the case of psychosis, which appeared as a result of intoxication, drugs are used to help cleanse the body. In any case, the prescription of drugs is carried out taking into account an individual approach, by a professional specialist. The doctor takes into account the causes of the disease, the age of the patient, other existing diseases and contraindications.
Medical treatment, as a rule, is carried out in parallel with psychological rehabilitation. It is necessary to improve the effectiveness of the treatment. The task of the psychiatrist is to find contact with the patient and instill in him positive thoughts about recovery, the need to take medications, and his early return to normal life. The patient is guaranteed complete anonymity of the treatment.
The rehabilitation course also covers training programs. They help patients develop a different reaction to the world around them, teach a new form of life behavior. After completing the rehabilitation program, the patient must establish himself in a sense of his equal rights in society, have a better attitude towards himself and other people who also feel inferior due to their psychosis and those who deny their illness.
Physiotherapy methods relieve emotional overstrain. Promotes a better metabolism, increases the ability to work. They are prescribed as an addition to the main treatment and include such procedures as physiotherapy exercises, reflexology with needles, electrosleep, spa treatment. If necessary, electroconvulsive treatment is carried out, which causes convulsive seizures by an artificial method using an alternating current. It effectively affects certain areas of the brain.
Timely treatment, to a greater extent, increases the receipt of a positive result and quickly normalizes the patient's condition.
Article author: Mochalov Pavel Alexandrovich | d. m. n. therapist
Education: Moscow Medical Institute. IM Sechenov, specialty - "General Medicine" in 1991, in 1993 "Occupational Diseases", in 1996 "Therapy".