Psychotic disorders

Psychotic disorders

Psychotic disorders are the clinical term given to the set of serious mental illnesses. It is associated with abnormal condition of mind. These illnesses transform an individual's ability to reflect, analyse, respond rationally, make good judgements, reciprocate emotionally and behave appropriately.  Psychotic the word is derived from the term psychosis which comes from the words (psyche: mind) and (osis: abnormal condition).People suffering with psychosis exhibit a bizarre behaviour which makes them distant from the reality. Psychotic disorders are a very broad term used for several mental disorders during which the personality of a person becomes severely disorganised.

 Psychosis leads  to several  psychotic disorders which are manifested in forms of symptoms like Hallucinations ,delusions, thought disorders, personality variations, and the impairment of the insight .These symptoms have a diagnostic importance in case of psychotic disorders, which make an individual socially inept and mar his ability to carry out his routine activities.

Hallucination experienced as a common symptom of psychotic disorders involves perception in absence of a stimulus by any of the five senses. People have been reported to perceive and respond to the external stimulus in awake and conscious sate, while it is actually absent. People experience tactile sensations, hear voices, and interact with fully formed animals and people.

 Delusion another symptom associated with psychotic disorders is a fake believe which is held high with absolute confidence. Delusions are a resultant of some kind of mental or physical illness.

Thought disorder is anther commonly reported symptom of psychotic disorders. In describes unfathomable speech or writing which in a way reflects the thought process of an individual. Language could be incomprehensible due to flight of ideas where language used leaps from one unrelated idea to another or it does not reach its goal or in case the words are not properly woven resulting in something called word salad.

Different types of psychotic disorders are known to occur which include:

Schizophrenia which is commonly called a split personality disorder. People undergoing this mental illness experience hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, disorganised speech and behaviour. They exhibit physically lax or rigid behaviour.

Schizoaffective disorder is actually a blend of schizophrenia and a mood disorder which is either depression or a bipolar disorder. In Schizophrenia  the brain's ability to think, react perceive, express, act, reason, think gets altered while in a mood disorder the person undergoes long spells of blues.

Schizophreniform disorder: People with this illness are characterized by symptoms of schizophrenia, but the symptoms last more than one month but less than six months.

Brief psychotic disorder. As the term makes it evident it is associated with a short-term mental illness which lasts ranging from a day to a month. This occurs in response to a sudden stressful event like a death of a loved one in the family. But then eventually person resumes to the normal conditions and recovers rather fast.

Delusional disorder: In this type of psychotic disorder which is marked by the absence of hallucinations, thought and mood disorder. However, olfactory, tactile perceptions are related with it. People live with an impression that they have a serious disease; they are stalked, or are being conspired against.

Shared psychotic disorder: Shared psychotic disorder as the term conveys is a condition shared between two. Therefore it is commonly called the folly of two. In this case the otherwise healthy person shares delusions with a person suffering with a psychotic disorder. The person with a sound mind develops tendencies due to which he believes in the delusions of the patient. Other than delusions, his thoughts, behaviour etc .remain normal.

Dementia: Dementia is mental state which refers to a failure of Cognition. Cognition is technical term linked with processes of paying attention, remembering, producing and understanding language, solving problems, and making decisions.

Substance-induced psychotic disorder: This is a resultant of withdrawal from some substances, such as alcohol and crack cocaine, which leads to various symptoms of a psychotic disorder like hallucinations, delusions or confused speech.

Psychotic disorder due to a medical condition: A head injury or a brain tumour which could interfere with the normal functioning of the brain may also lead to various symptoms of psychotic disorders.

Though the exact cause of psychotic disorders is not known it occurs as a result of combination of several genetic, biochemical and environmental factors. Some psychotic disorders have been known to be passed to the progeny and are inherited. People afflicted with psychotic disorders may have an imbalance of certain chemicals like dopamine in the brain, they produce low quantities or too much of dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, which conducts messages through the nerve cells in the brain. A disproportion of dopamine affects the way the brain reacts to certain stimuli, such as sounds, smells and sights and can lead to hallucinations and delusions.

 Long spells of stress has also been known to trigger psychotic states. Even when a person has undergone an ordeal and traumatic events psychotic states may be attained. Neuro developmental disorders, chromosomal aberrations, neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease can result in psychotic disorders. Multiple sclerosis, some forms of epilepsy, malignancy in brain are also accountable for shooting psychotic disorders.

Infections such as malaria, brain fever, syphilis, endocrine secretion related disorders like Hyperthyroidism, Hypothyroidism, Metabolic disorders like porphyria are also responsible for causing psychotic disorders.

Nutritional deficiencies like deficiency of vitamin B12 and deficiency or excess of minerals like calcium , magnesium  have also been known to cause psychotic disorders.

 Alcohol and other  recreational drugs like cannabis, dimethyltrytamine, LSD, opiates, mescaline though are  used  as stress busters but in the long run are instrumental in developing psychotic disorders.

Treatment of psychotic disorder varies as per the disorder. Drugs oral or intra muscular are administered keeping in mind the symptoms which are specific to the disorder, they form the first line of treatment. In addition to this counselling, talk therapy, family therapy is recommended which form the second line of treatment which help in restoration of cognition. In serious cases hospitalization is also suggested. In case the other therapies for treating psychotic disorders fail especially in case of patients under severe depression then electro convulsive therapy (ECT) or the shock treatment is given. Animal assisted therapies can also aid people suffering with schizophrenia.

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