Located in LaPlace, Louisiana, River Place Behavioral Health is a state-of-the-art psychosis treatment center serving the greater New Orleans metropolitan area.
Learn about Psychosis Treatment
Psychosis is a complex condition that causes individuals to experience a break from reality. It can be a terrifying experience, not only for those suffering, but for those around them as well.
When someone is experiencing psychosis, or a psychotic episode, they will typically struggle to make sense of their surroundings and will likely become incapable of functioning as they normally would. Their ability to communicate, use sound judgment and reasoning, and behave appropriately will also be hindered.
If an individual is in a psychotic state, it can be evidence that he or she is suffering from a mental health disorder. Conditions like bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, and schizoaffective disorder are a few examples of disorders for which psychosis is often a symptom.
Brief psychotic disorder is also a specific mental health condition in itself. It has a sudden onset, typically without any forewarning that an individual is at risk for experiencing the development of the disorder. As is the case with symptoms of psychosis, when someone is diagnosed with brief psychotic disorder, he or she may experience hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech, and disorganized or catatonic behavior.
Whenever someone is in the midst of psychosis, it is imperative that he or she receive treatment immediately. People who are in a psychotic state are at a heightened risk for harming themselves and/or others, but by receiving care as quickly as possible, many detriments can be avoided.
Statistics about Psychosis
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), approximately one in every 25 adults in the United States suffer from a mental health disorder that can cause the onset of psychosis. Further estimates provided by the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) report that psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia, affect slightly over 1% of American adults. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) notes that brief psychotic disorder accounts for 9% of cases of first-onset psychosis.
Causes and Risk Factors for Psychosis
There is not one specific cause that has been identified as leading to the onset of psychosis. However, there are certain factors that may increase one’s risk of experiencing this condition.
Genetic: As was previously mentioned, psychosis is commonly symptomatic of a mental health disorder. Mental health disorders are known to be impacted by genetics, as they frequently run in families. If you have a family member who has experienced a psychotic episode, or who is suffering from a mental health disorder that can cause psychosis, you are more susceptible to experiencing the condition than are others who do not possess the same family background.
Environmental: Abusing illicit drugs or taking certain medications can increase your risk for experiencing the onset of psychosis.
Additional risk factors:
- Prenatal exposure to disease or malnutrition
- Experiencing complications during birth
- Having biological parents of older age
- Being exposed to environmental toxins
Signs and Symptoms of Psychosis
The following signs and symptoms may indicate that you or a loved one is experiencing, or has experienced, a psychotic episode:
Cognitive symptoms: Cognitive symptoms are the most prevalent indicator that someone is suffering from psychosis. Examples of cognitive symptoms can include the following:
- Delusions: Delusions occur when one maintains strong beliefs despite having evidence that those beliefs are false. Examples of delusions can include feeling as though one is being plotted against, being convinced that one’s health is in jeopardy, feeling as though a catastrophe is imminent, believing that one is receiving subliminal messages from outside entities, etc.
- Hallucinations: Hallucinations occur when someone hears, sees, tastes, or smells things that are not there. Hallucinations are very common during a psychotic episode and can be especially distressing when an individual believes that the hallucinations are attempting to cause him or her harm.
- Disorganized thinking: Disorganized thinking causes a person to no longer be able to communicate, fail to use sound reasoning, and become incapable of responding emotionally. Disorganized thinking can be evidenced by jumbled and incoherent thoughts and speech.
- Derealization: Derealization occurs when a person feels as though the environment around him or her is not real.
- Depersonalization: Depersonalization occurs when someone feels detached from his or her body.
Other types of cognitive symptoms can include the following:
- Extreme confusion
- Inability to focus
- Delayed thinking
- Suicidal thoughts
- Catatonia – rigid and unresponsive behavior
- Blunt affect
- Inability to communicate
- Sudden violent behaviors
- Inability to function appropriately
- Manic behaviors
- Disorganized speech
- Disheveled appearance
- Extreme sensitivity to lights and/or sounds
- Loss of appetite
- Extreme anxiety
- Pronounced agitation and irritation
- Extreme anger
- Sudden mood changes
- Feelings of panic
Effects of Psychosis
Psychosis has the potential to inflict many negative consequences on the lives of those who experience the condition. Examples of the detriments of untreated psychosis can include the following:
- Job loss / chronic unemployment
- Deterioration of important relationships
- Significant injuries resulting from self-harm
- Chronic suicidal ideation
- Making attempts to end one’s life
- Physical harm to oneself or others due to violent behaviors
- Loss of independence as a result of no longer being able to function appropriately
- Social isolation
- Substance abuse
- Overall decline in mental health
Treatment Plan for Psychosis
Receiving professional treatment for psychosis can prevent or heal many of the negative consequences listed above. Seeking care immediately after the onset of a psychotic episode is imperative in order to ensure the safety of the suffering individual. By receiving inpatient care, the person can receive the therapeutic services and medication (when appropriate) needed to stabilize him or herself. Once stabilization has occurred, the individual can then press forward with additional therapies so that he or she can learn how to manage future symptoms and prevent further detriments.