Psychosis

What is psychosis

Psychosis is one of the most complex and widespread mental illnesses, accompanied by complex mental disorders, due to which a person cannot objectively perceive reality, as well as respond to events in an adequate way. Today, experts are considering several types of psychosis, which can be independent pathologies or signs of a wide range of diseases: from senile dementia to schizophrenia.

What is psychosis and its causes?

Psychosis is a pathological disease proceeding with a clear disruption of the brain work and mental activity – a person’s response to reality is inadequate and contrary to the concepts of the norm. Patients suffer from disorganized behavior and disorders of perception of the surrounding world.

Despite significant progress in the study of psychosis, science has no answer indicating the exact cause of its emergence. At the same time, the mechanism of the development of pathology is clearly defined, which is based on a complex disruption of the functioning of brain cells. First of all, the violation concerns the pathological work of mitochondria, which are responsible for cellular respiration. In psychosis, mitochondria do not produce enough ATP molecules, causing oxygen deficiency in cells (even if a person spends a lot of time outdoors).

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    There are a number of factors that can lead to the development of psychosis:

    • Hereditary factor – transmitted by a group of genes by inheritance, from parents to their children. These genes are responsible for the sensitivity of brain cells to external influences, which can provoke mental trauma;
    • Brain trauma – including: birth trauma, concussion and contusion of the brain, open and closed craniocerebral trauma (the stronger the injury is, the higher the likelihood of developing the disease);
    • Intoxication – chemical intoxication of the brain can be triggered by harmful working conditions, the use of alcohol, drugs, medicine and other substances;

    In addition to the above factors, the development of psychoses can be provoked by: brain tumors, pathologies of the nervous system, bronchial asthma, deficiency of vitamins B1 and B3, infectious diseases and some others.

    Types of psychosis

    Psychotherapists distinguish several types of psychosis, which differ in the root cause of the manifestation and the nature of the course: depressive, reactive, manic, senile, affective and alcoholic. Let’s consider them in more detail:

    • Depressive psychosis – has a slow development on the background of aggravating depression. The patient concentrates only on external negative factors, believes that the past was bad, and the present as well as the future will not change anything. A patient with depressive psychosis, in difficult moments for him/her, is capable of suicide. The danger is that in the process of illness, a person retains intellect that allows him/her to hide his/her own desire for commiting suicide from others;
    • Reactive psychosis is an acquired disorder that occurs after severe psychological trauma. The complexity of the flow directly depends on how closely the person accepted the situation that happened;
    • Manic psychosis – accompanied by vivid symptoms in the form of increased activity and accelerated thinking. A person is always in a positive mood, despite the ongoing surrounding problems;
    • Senile psychosis is a pathology of people over the age of 65. Mental disorder is associated with paranoid and depressive disorders. Development is associated with the natural aging process of the body and a parallel structural disruption of physiological processes in the brain;
    • Alcohol psychosis is an acquired disease caused by prolonged alcohol abuse. The state of psychosis is caused by the toxic effects of alcohol on the human brain;
    • Affective psychosis – proceeds with an apparent change in affective phases, corresponding to the state of depression of the patient.

    Symptoms and signs of psychosis

    The manifested symptoms of psychosis directly depend on the type of disease and the characteristics of its course. Acute psychosis is symptomatic. The most common manifestations include:

    • Emotional – the character of a person changes, there are sudden mood swings, attention is disturbed, efficiency decreases, the perception of the environment is distorted;
    • Hallucinatory – the patient conducts conversations with fictional interlocutors, begins to look at one point, listens, abruptly falls silent;
    • Delusional – critical thinking is turned off, some conclusions can take over the mind, become obsessive;

    The above symptoms may have an independent or combined manifestation.

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    Psychosis in women and men

    Psychosis in women is more common than psychosis in men – it is more common, which indicates a certain sexual predisposition of the disease. The ratio may change depending on the type of psychosis: alcoholic, senile, manic, etc.

    Often in men, symptoms are less evident, and slow progress is also observed. The stages of development of psychosis in women take less time, and the pathology is manifested brighter – this is due to the peculiarities of the endocrine system. In both cases, the disease poses a serious threat to mental and physical health and requires immediate treatment.

    Diagnostics and treatment of psychosis

    Diagnostics of psychosis should be performed only by specialists in a medical center. The diagnosis is established based on the anamnesis and diagnostic examination. The doctor determines the typical symptomatic picture, which corresponds to the clinical picture of the disease.

    After making the diagnosis, a doctor prescribes a psychiatric consultation, where a patient and his/her relatives are told about the diagnosis and the necessary therapeutic measures to minimize or eliminate the negative consequences of the disease.

    Treatment of psychosis is aimed at eliminating the root cause that provoked the development of the disease – it is very important to reduce or completely eliminate the effect of these factors on the patient’s body. Drug therapy may also be prescribed.

    Prevention of psychosis

    The basis for the prevention of psychosis in people predisposed to this disease is cognitive-behavioral therapy, which combines behavior correction and psychotherapy. It consists in hard work with the stereotypes formed in a person since an active phase of the disease is accompanied by the appearance of illogical and inappropriate thoughts.

    People who are not disposed to this pathology do not need preventive measures. If any symptoms are found, you must immediately contact a specialized medical institution for diagnostics and prompt diagnosis.

    What will happen if the psychosis is not treated? (Effects)

    An incorrect diagnosis or lack of treatment for psychosis quickly leads to an aggravation of the situation and the adverse consequences of psychosis. Symptomatic manifestations become more apparent, in some cases dangerous both for the patient himself/herself and for his/her relatives, as well as those around him.

    It is impossible to provide high-quality treatment on your own at home, so you need to contact a specialized medical institution, where there are all the necessary conditions to reduce the consequences of the disease. In most cases, after treatment, a patient has residual signs of the experienced pathology.

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