Psychosis: What You Need to Know

For many, the word “psycho” is used to describe individuals who act or think outside what is considered correct behavior. However, it doesn’t provide an accurate depiction of what it means for someone suffering from psychosis. 

You may have encountered this term in movies, songs, and other mass media content, but it is fair to say that people who have this condition are the subject of misrepresentation and stigma.

At MidCities Psychiatry, we believe that education and awareness are important in addressing psychosis not only as a health issue but also as a social issue. 

To begin, let’s widen our understanding of psychotic behavior for what it really is:

Psychosis Defined — and Refined

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, psychosis is defined as a mental illness characterized by a general detachment from reality. In other words, it is a condition that affects how the mind processes information. 

In this case, a person suffering from bouts of psychosis (or what are usually known as psychotic episodes), may experience a disturbance in their thought processes. This disturbance causes delusions, hallucinations, and nonsensical speech. However, these are not the only symptoms that a patient goes through during a psychotic episode. As a matter of fact, the NIMH explains that there other symptoms worth noting, including:

  • Depression;
  • Loss of Appetite;
  • Insomnia;
  • Lack of Motivation; and more.

From this, we can say that psychotic behavior doesn’t entail that state of being “crazy” or “deviant.” It’s a multifaceted mental health condition that doesn’t just occur on its own. In fact, there are underlying factors that contribute to its development.

Causes of Psychosis

People would think that patients with psychosis are just crazy. With the advancement of technology and the introduction of new approaches to neuroscience, mental health professionals have uncovered the possible causes of psychosis.

An article on HealthLine.com listed brain tumors and cysts as a few of these causes. Moreover, psychosis can also be a symptom of other health conditions that affect neurological activity, such as Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and Huntington’s disease.

Apart from these, external factors such as drug and alcohol abuse along with traumatic head injuries can also cause patients to experience psychotic episodes.  

In addition to these findings, researchers from the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University have zeroed in on the possibility that psychosis could be the result of an impairment of dopamine receptors. In their study, scientists Sho Yagishita and Haruo Kasai found out that a dopamine receptor known as D2R helps manage reactions following a dopamine dip — an event in which dopamine levels drop when reward expectations are not met.

When D2R activity is restricted, individuals are unable to manage their responses towards delayed or canceled rewards. This eventually leads to delusions and plays-up insecurities, which are often related to psychosis. 

Addressing a Pressing Issue

As the literature on the nature of psychosis grows, psychiatric professionals are able to tap into approaches that provide patients a faster path towards recovery and renewed hope for a healthier and more productive life. 

At MidCities Psychiatry, we rely not only on the latest science-based methods but also on the humanizing aspect of our practice. This is manifested by our commitment to provide quality specialized care for patients. 

If you would like to know more about our services, give us a call at 817-488-8998 or send us an email at info@midcitiespsychiatry.com.   

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