Private Psychiatry Services in the North West

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Psychosis

Psychosis is a medical term used to describe mental health problems that may stop an individual from being able to think clearly, and they may also struggle to tell the difference between reality and their imagination.

The 2 main symptoms of psychosis are delusions (abnormal beliefs) and hallucinations (abnormal perceptual experiences). The combination of hallucinations and delusions can cause an often severe disruption to perception and thinking. People experiencing psychosis may also exhibit some personality changes and thought disorder. Depending on its severity, this may be accompanied by unusual behaviour, as well as difficulty with social interaction and impairment in carrying out activities of daily living.

Individuals experiencing symptoms of psychosis is often referred to being “psychotic”. The term “psychosis” is very broad and can mean anything from relatively normal aberrant experiences through to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Schizophrenia is a condition where an individual may have repeated episodes of psychosis. Bipolar disorder is a condition where an individual may have periods of persistent low mood (depression) at times, and at other times have periods of feeling energetic, impulsive and happy (mania).

Psychosis can also be triggered by medical conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, a brain tumour, a severe head injury, or as a result of drug misuse. The length of time that someone will experience a psychotic episode, will depend on underlying causes. Drug-induced psychosis may only last a few days. However, psychosis that results from schizophrenia or bipolar disorder may last indefinitely unless treated. Individuals with psychosis often display a lack of insight into their condition, meaning they are unaware they are thinking and acting strangely. Due to their lack of insight, it may depend upon friends, relatives or carers of individuals affected by psychosis to seek help for them.

The main treatment for psychosis involves use of antipsychotic medication, which can help to relieve, and in some cases completely eradicate, the symptoms of psychosis. Psychological therapies, e.g. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which can help to address the underlying cause of the psychosis, may also be helpful in treating psychosis.

At Optimum Psychiatry, our Consultant Psychiatrists are all recognised specialists in treating psychosis, and have a proven track record in successfully treating cases and helping patients return to good mental health. Some of our team are also established experts in the field of Early Intervention for Psychosis, a field which specialises in treating new cases of psychosis as early and as rapidly as possible. Please ask for further details.