Mental health illness support network for PWWP

Mental health illness support network for People working with people

Symptoms And Risk Factors of Psychosis.

Symptoms of Bipolar illness;

As Bipolar illness is a psychotic illness it can share all or some of the symptoms discussed on the page ‘What is psychosis’.

Symptoms of depression;

During the episodes of depression, the person has some or all of the symptoms listed on page ‘What is psychosis’. Some bipolar can be psychotic in nature.

Bipolar disorder affects 6 in a 100 people, with males and females being equally affected. It is commonly first diagnosed when people are in their twenties. Long-term treatment and support are required to minimise the risk of recurrence and optimise quality of life, and social and personal functioning. The primary long-term treatments pharmacological, but psychological and psychological interventions have an important part to play, A co-ordinated care programme, with rapid access to support at times of crisis is essential.

For some people who acknowledge their illness and recognise developing changes in their symptoms, self-management techniques are becoming very helpful. The  Bipolar Association have a very useful programme for people with manic depression which

promotes self-management with the support of identified key people.

Depression and psychosis;

Sometimes depression can be so intence that it causes symptoms of psychosis. For example, the person may have delusions involving guilt, servere physical illness or hopeless.

Schizoaffective disorder;

Sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference between schizopherenia and bipolar disorder as the person has symptoms of both illnesses, such a person may be diagnosed as having schizoaffetive disorder.

Risk factors for psychosis;

It is believed that psychosis is caused by a combination of factors including genetics, biochemistry, stress and other factors.

Schizophrenia;

The following factors may be involved in the development of schizophrenia.

GENETIC FACTORS; Although schizophrenia is not directly inherited, people who have one parent who is affected are more likely to develop schizophrenia. schizophrenia affects only one percent of the genral population compared with 10 percent of people who have an affected parent. Note that most people (90 percent,) who have a schizophrenia parent do not develop schizophrenia.

BIOCHEMICAL FACTORS; The change in the brain caused by schizophrenia are not fully understood. However, a chemical messages called dopamine seems to be involved.

STRESS; The onset of schizophrenia often follows stressful events in a person life, stress not itself the cause of schizophrenia. Rather, it it can trigger an episode in people who are vulnerable to the disorder. It was once believed that poor family relationships especially with the mother, were the cause of schizophrenia. This is now known to be wrong. However, family tension may contribute to relapse in a person with schizophrenia.

OTHER FACTORS; There is a range of other factors that makes small contributions in some cases. These include head injury, complications around birth or being born in winter and trauma and abuse.

Bipolar disorder

The cause of this disorder are not fully understood. However, the following factors are known to be involved.

GENETIC FACTOR; Although Bipolar disorder is not directly inherited. People who have a parent who is affected are more likely to develop the disorder.

BIOCHEMICAL FACTORS; Mania, like depression, is believed to be associated with chemical imbalance in the brain.

STRESS; Stress may play a big part in triggering symptoms in vulnerable people.

Other risk factors for psychosis; illegal drugs and alcohol may also be important risk factors in psychosis for some people.

Drug – induced pschosis;

This is a psychosis brought on by the use of illegal drugs. The symptoms usually appear quickly and last a short time, (from a few hours to a few days) until the effects of the drug wear off, Although drugs can be the sole cause of psychosis, in other cases it may trigger another psychosis illness such as schizophrenia in people who are vulnerable to psychosis.

Alcohol – induced psychosis;

This is normally passed when the person has recovered from the effects of alcohol misuse, but it is not clear whether it causes more enduring psychosis. Alcohol interferes with some anti-psychotic medications, causing poisoning in some cases and extreme drowsiness in others.


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