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Psychosis what is it?

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Symptoms Causes of Psychosis Drug Induced Psychosis  Psychotic Disorders  Schizophrenia  Schizoaffective Disorder  Schizophreniform Psychosis  Delusional Disorder  Psychotic Depression  Bipolar Disorder (psychotic features)  Brief Psychotic Disorder


 

 

In simple terms, Psychosis involves certain specific symptoms relating to conditions/illnesses/disorders/effects of substances etc. that affect the mind & thoughts of an individual and where there is a degree of 'loss of contact with reality'. The degree of 'loss or contact' can vary, depending upon the individual, the condition, the circumstances and so on. These are generally the following:

 

 

(1)         Hallucinations– These involve the senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell & touch). As such, a person may ‘see things that are not there’ or ‘hear things that are not there’. They may sense ‘odd tastes’ or ‘strange smells’ in the absence of any evidence of those sensations. Auditory hallucinations can be particularly disturbing & distressing; being often derrogatory, abusive, threatening etc.; they can also be of a 'command' nature; 'telling' or 'commanding' the individual to 'do something'. The latter can have tragic consequences if they involve 'self harm' or 'suicide'; 'assault', 'violence' or even 'murder'.

 

(2)        Disordered Thought - This applies to the individual's inability to 'organize their thoughts or thinking'; often becoming confused & 'disconnected' in content & how they convey their thoughts to others. The individual may find simple sentence construction difficult; disjointed & 'odd'. Their thoughts might be 'jumbled' - thinking 'fast' or 'slow' and there might be marked disturbance in the capacity to concentrate.

 

(3)         Delusions– Having beliefs that are not based in reality and cannot be altered through any reason or logic. Someone may believe they are ‘Prime Minster’ or ‘God’ or Jesus’ (grandiose delusions). They may believe they have ‘no stomach, limbs or other body parts’ (nihilistic delusions). They may believe the coach is going to ‘kill them’ ....literally! (paranoid delusions). The definition of a delusion is:- 'a fixed, firm belief that does not conform to conventionally held beliefs and ideas, that is out of ‘sync’ with societal mores, norms & culture and which cannot be altered by rational argument or explanation to the contrary'  

 

Delusions & Hallucinations are generally considered common to all psychotic presentations. Disordered

thought may not be a 'stand alone' symptom, but somewhat secondary or subsequent to these two

'primary symtpoms'.

 

 

Other associated symptoms may include changes or alterations to feelings, where mood & emotions change for no observable reason or are inconsistent to the stimuli; the individual may feel decidedly 'up' when a situation would ordinarily indicate the contrary emotion.They may feel 'numb' or unable to express any emotion; often referred to as 'blunted'. They may also feel somewhat 'detached' from the world around them; in an emotional sense.

 

These symptoms mentioned above are those the individual experiences and that which is noted by the observer; being manifested by the individual through the consequential 'behavioural' changes. If a psychotic person is experiencing auditory hallucinations of a 'persecutory nature', maintaining delusional thoughts of a 'paranoid kind'; observably 'distracted' & unable to communicate their thoughts in conversation, the behavioural changes will generally bear this out. 

 

 

 

 

Psychosis - 'drug induced' - 'a personal account'

 

The subject of Psychotic Illnesses in relation to  Rugby League is most probably not entirely necessary as the recorded incidence is very low and it is very doubtful that someone with a psychotic illness could participate successfully in the sport. It is important, however, that the player and those associated with the game have an overall concept of the types of illnesses that are ‘out there’. There is a highly likely probability that somewhere in an individual's life they will experience someone who has one of these illnesses or at least exhibit the associated symptoms.

 

There is also a need to understand the differences between mood disorders and psychoses and the correlation between stress, other mental health conditions such as 'Bipolar Disorder', 'burnout' and drugs and alcohol; all of which can result in psychotic symptoms.

 

Psychotic symptoms such as auditory hallucinations are extremely distressing!

 

Causes of Psychosis

 

As with most mental illnesses & disorders, the use of a 'bio-psycho-social' model is extremely effective in determining causative or contributing factors for their development, as it covers each of the realms of human existence; Biological (including biochemical, neurological, genetic or heredity); Psychological (developmental factors, including coping skills, role modelling etc.) and Social (stress, abuse, environmental factors).

 

Below is a list of some of both the postulated and proven causes or contributing factors for the development of psychosis and/or psychotic disorders:

 

 

  • Genetic - theories & evidence suggest the strong possibility of a genetic link with many Psychotic Disorders & other mental illnesses; such as Bipolar Disorder & types of Depression. Whether it is purely heredity, or whether there is a 'genetic predisposition' or 'vulnerability' has yet to be proven. One cannot also discount influences during developmental stages & years of an individual's life. 'Nature vs Nurture'. 

 

 

  • Alcohol -  Primarily involving 'hallucinations' (sometimes referred to as alcohol hallucinosis), the symptoms are considered a 'secondary psychosis'; as a result of 'acute intoxication', 'withdrawal' or 'significant reduction in consumption'. Diagnosis is more definitive when symptoms subside or disappear in the prolonged absence of alcohol. 

 

  • Stress (reactive) - There appears a requirement for 'predisposition' in the development of Psychosis secondary to stress or 'stressful events'. Where some might develop 'anxiety' or 'anxiety disorders', 'depression', 'bipolar' & so on, other individuals may develop psychotic symptoms. Treatment for both the acute psychotic symptoms & the precipitating stress will generally result in the elimination of the psychosis.  

 

  • Hormonal - Imbalances in hormones, particularly in women, can result in the development of a variety of mental illnesses, including the development of 'psychosis'. The primary areas for hormonal problems are the 'Thyroid' & 'Adrenal Glands''Hyperthyroidism', for example, can result in 'Thyrotoxic Psychosis'. Restoration of 'balance' and levels will result in the elimination of the psychosis.  

 

As stated above even disorders such as Depression & Bipolar Disorder can involve the development of Psychosis.



 

Basic thinking and functioning are seriously affected by psychosis; much like the 'ad hoc' tangled mis-wiring of a telephone system; imagine the disruption to any or all communication and functionality. 

 

 

Please click here for Psychosis 'Fact Sheet'.

Should you have concerns regarding any issue relating to your 'mental or physical well-being', 'Kick off' strongly recommend you seek professional assistance. This may entail contacting your GP or similar clinician (Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Counsellor etc.). You may also contact the appropriate agency or service that might assist you. Irrespective of your choice, ensure you see someone who might help. 

 

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