Treatment and Complications of Psychosis

Complications and Treatment of Psychosis

What is Psychosis?

Psychosis is an umbrella term; it means that an individual has sensory experiences of things that do not exist and/or beliefs with no basis in reality. During a psychotic episode, an individual may experience hallucinations and/or delusions. They may see or hear things that do not exist.

Treatment of psychosis
Fig: Treatment of psychosis

This can be incredibly frightening for the individual and, sometimes, the symptoms can cause them to lash out and hurt themselves or others. Psychosis is classically associated with schizophrenia spectrum disorders, and, although there are other symptoms, one of the defining criteria for schizophrenia is the presence of psychosis.

Diagnosis of Psychosis:

Early diagnosis of psychosis improves long-term outcomes. This is not always achieved, however. The milder forms of psychosis that can lead to schizophrenia are left untreated for an average of 2 years, and even full psychosis can take a number of years before it receives the attention of medical professionals.

To increase the chances of early detection, guidance for healthcare systems drawn up by psychiatrists recommend that the “possibility of a psychotic disorder should be carefully considered” in a young person who is:

  • Becoming more socially withdrawn,
  • Performing worse for a sustained period at school or work, or
  • Becoming more distressed or agitated yet unable to explain why.

There is no biological test for psychosis itself, and if laboratory tests are done, it is to rule out other medical problems that might provide an alternative explanation.

Treatment of Psychosis:

Treatment for psychosis involves using a combination of:

  • Antipsychotic medication – which can help relieve the symptoms of psychosis.
  • Psychological therapies – the one-to-one talking therapy cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has proved successful in helping people with schizophrenia; in appropriate cases, family therapy has been shown to reduce the need for hospital treatment in people with psychosis.
  • Social support-support with social needs, such as education, employment, or accommodation.

Most people with psychosis who get better with medication need to continue taking it for at least a year. Some people need to take medication long term to prevent symptoms recurring. If a person’s psychotic episodes are severe, they may need to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital.

Complications of Psychosis:

  1. Inability to keep a job,
  2. Poor academic performance or dropping out of school,
  3. Financial problems,
  4. Homelessness,
  5. Substance abuse and substance use disorders,
  6. Legal problems or even incarceration,
  7. Hospitalization,
  8. Damaged or lost relationships,
  9. Social isolation,
  10. Violence, as a victim or perpetrator,
  11. Co-occurring mental illnesses, like depression or anxiety disorders,
  12. New or worsening medical conditions,
  13. Self-harm,
  14. Suicide.

More questions related to this article:

  • What do you mean by psychosis?
  • Write down the diagnosis of psychosis.
  • Describe the treatments for psychosis.
  • List the complications of psychosis.

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