7 common doubts about toxic psychoses

The mental disorders caused by the use of substances with a high prevalence. In any case, specialists like Dr. Diaz are prepared to address both cases.

Is it common to exceed 1,000 cases a year for psychosis associated with the use of drugs such as alcohol?

These are few cases about endogenous psychoses, in which the use and/or abuse of substances would be a comorbid etiological factor. In any case, they are relatively frequent.

How can we detect these outbreaks?

There are two very characteristic signs that patients suffer:

  • Alterations of hallucinatory sensory perception, mainly of an auditory type.
  • Thought content disorders of the delusional type, the most frequent being the persecutory type.

Is this class of cases related to long-term drug abuse or can it also appear in sporadic users?

In general, these are patients who consume repeatedly and abusively, who present a clinical picture, although sporadic consumption is also a risk factor for developing psychosis.

What does the treatment consist of?

Comprehensive treatment is offered to them, treating addiction and psychotic disorder.

In the first place, the objective is to get patients to abandon the use/abuse of substances and initiate a comprehensive approach to both SUD and Psychotic Disorder, through a psychopharmacological approach and Psychotherapy, being essentially an adequate awareness of the disease.

How long are these episodes?

Due to being a response to a specific substance, toxic episodes are shorter than endogenous ones. The acute phase lasts between one and two weeks, but the intensity decreases progressively, as consumption is abandoned and the therapeutic approach begins.

All consumers do not suffer from these problems. Is this due to genetic predisposition or the degree of drug abuse?

There is indeed a certain genetic predisposition that can make people more vulnerable, but it also influences if there is an early start to consumption. The earlier you start using drugs, the more likely you are to have these outbreaks.

Can drug use cause long-term psychotic breakouts?

They can cause it, although the incidence depends on multiple factors, such as vulnerability, type of substance, comorbidity, and consumption pattern.

How a psychotherapist treats psychosis

Psychosis is one of the mental disorders that reveals the profound differences that exist between psychiatry and psychotherapy or psychoanalysis.

Diagnosis of psychosis

In the case of psychiatry, the diagnosis of psychosis is made using manuals, where mental illnesses are classified according to a series of criteria. For example, in these manuals it is indicated that if a person hears voices that speak to him, he has delusional ideas of being persecuted by the CIA, his speech is incoherent, he insists that he is not crazy and he resists being hospitalized or taking the prescribed medication, the picture begins to draw like schizophrenia.

In addition, the diagnosis is reaffirmed when knowing that the episode of insanity suffered by the patient does not respond to the consumption of any substance that has altered his mental state and that the pathology has been present for more than a month, in addition to having abandoned his social life.

Likewise, it is necessary to investigate in greater depth the mental situation of the person, but what is interesting is not the diagnosis, in which both a psychiatrist and a psychologist, psychotherapist, or psychoanalyst could coincide, but what both professionals do next, that is, in the treatment.

Treatment of psychosis

After concluding the diagnosis, the psychiatrist will proceed to medicate the patient and if there is no family support, he will suggest hospitalization. You will be followed up and when your symptoms subside or subside you will be allowed to leave the hospital. That is, the patient will be treated as if his madness is neurotransmitter madness and the treatment will be pharmacological to put an order in the functioning of the brain, like an organ.

On the other hand, the psychotherapist or psychoanalyst will proceed completely differently. The medication will be respected, but it will not stop there. Psychoanalysts and psychotherapists listen to patients and, faced with madness, believe it necessary to know the person who suffers from it. The wide variations that are observed in human suffering cannot be confined within diagnostic criteria, since they end up being insufficient.

Listening to patients suffering from psychosis is the only way in which their inner world can be discovered since no diagnostic manual can collect it. Through therapeutic listening, this type of patient can be helped.