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Psychosis – Causes and Diagnosis



"So what are some of the causes of psychosis and how do we test for psychosis or make a diagnosis? There are many causes that can lead to psychosis. Mental illness, physical illness, or drug and alcohol misuse. There's no readily available test for psychosis. We can't do a blood test or some form of imaging, like an x-ray, to say that somebody has psychosis, but what will happen is a thorough psychiatric assessment, which means questions about what the symptoms are that are being experienced, how long they've been going on for, how this has affected the person that's experiencing them and their family, and what has been the change to their baseline level of functioning. This will give us a good idea of the extent of psychosis and help guide us toward treatment options that we can think about with the patient in question. The brain main arms of treatment for psychosis can be divided into three things. One is medication, the second is psychological support and the third is social support. So you'll remember that we spoke briefly about dopamine and the effects in the brain and how it can relate to psychosis. Anti-psychotic medication can be used in psychosis to help reduce some of the symptoms that are experienced, or some of the distress that are associated with psychosis. For example, anxiety. Anti-psychotics can help reduce anxiety fairly quickly and usually help to reduce delusions and hallucinations over the course of a few days, perhaps to a few weeks. It's important to know that anti-psychotic medications might not be helpful or effective for everybody. The side effects might vary, and it would depend on the person in question."

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