"There is clearly no one beside me, but I hear many voices of men and women, sometimes criticizing me, sometimes repeating what I think in my mind..."
What is psychosis?
Psychosis is a mental disorder due to an overactivity of a chemical substance called "dopamine" inside our brain, leading to abnormal mental condition. Symptoms of psychosis include thought disorder, delusion and hallucination.
Thought disorder refers to difficulty of organizing thoughts and expressing them in words. This can be seen as disorganized speech or patient giving irrelevant answers that is not related to the questions raised to them.
Delusions are beliefs that some patients believe firmly despite lacking adequate reason or ground. Common examples include idea of being followed or being monitored, idea that strangers or even media are talking about them etc.
It refers to a kind vivid experience or perception that is felt without stimuli on the corresponding sensory organ. The most common hallucinations are auditory hallucinations, and the less common ones include visual hallucinations, tactile hallucinations, and olfactory hallucinations. Auditory hallucinations refer to hearing some non-existing voices with different contents, some of which might be talking with the patient casually, some might be giving commands to the patient and some might be giving comments to activities performed by the patient. The experience can be very distressing to the patient and resulted in significant mood fluctuation.
What is the the different stages of psychosis?
The disease process can be roughly divided into three stages, namely prodrome, acute and recovery phase:
During this period, the patient will have symptoms such as insomnia, increase anxiety, increase suspiciousness, inability to concentrate, or social withdrawal. These symptoms might go undetected by relatives.
(2) Acute Phase
During this period, patient will be having the most psychotics symptoms. Individual case varies a lot in the presentation. Some might be having more hallucination symptoms while others might be having more delusional symptoms. The daily activities can be markedly impaired by these kind of symptoms.
(3) Recovery Phase
Psychosis can be effectively managed with antipsychotic medication, given that the disease was discovered early and treated promptly. After treatment, most patients can recover and regain their normal activities, but the degree of recovery varies from person to person.
What is the treatment for psychosis?
The treatment mainly includes medication, psychotherapy and rehabilitation training. Medication can help regulating the activity of "dopamine" inside the brain, thereby improving the symptoms experienced by patient. Psychotherapy helps patients developing ways to cope with the distressing symptoms and increase their insight into the illness.
WHO IS MORE LIKELY TO SUFFER FROM PSYCHOSIS?
Studies have shown that about 1% of the total population will develop psychosis in their lifetime. The disease usually have its onset at teenage. If there is a family history of psychosis, the chance of suffering from psychosis is higher than average people.