A wide array of nervous system stressors can result in a psychotic reaction both at organic as well as functional level. However, the first line treatment for psychosis is generally associated with the administration of antipsychotic drugs and in some cases hospitalization, but there is increasing research evidence that suggests cognitive therapy; family therapy can be effective in the management of psychotic symptoms. This paper critically reviews on psychological intervention with patients affected by serious and prolonged mental disorders and the strengths and weaknesses associated with such types of therapeutic interventions.
Psychosis is a mental state defining a group of mental disorders come into one singe head in psychiatry and it is characterized by certain common fundamental factors such as hallucinations or sensation of non-existent objects or phenomenon; delusions or possessing beliefs not based on reality; thought insertion, withdrawal, thought blocking, thought broadcasting lack of insight or being unable to understand the wrongs in the thinking or activity patterns. However, there are number of controversies associated with the psychiatric classification of psychosis, but usually the most common disorders come under the general title of psychoses are as follows:
- Schizoaffective disorder
- Maniac Depression (Bipolar Disorder)
- Delusion (Paranoid) Disorder
- Psychotic Depression
Although these disorders differ in their symptoms but they consist of a common parameter that the individual suffering from any of the disease does not experience reality as most of the other people in general.
Sample Case Study
The patient is a female of 18 years doing graduation in a co-education college. She was brought to the clinic by her mother and sister for lack of sleep, verbal and physical aggressiveness, suspicion that the male faculty members in her college are writing love letters to her and making obscene gestures during the lecture and the fear of becoming a male. She had the habit of peeping into the bathroom when her mother takes bath. Sometimes she blamed her mother of appearing nude before her. Her elder sister and elder brother had innocuous relationship. She did not have any intimate relationship with the member of the same sex. The family disapproved of her friendship with boys of questionable character.
Therapeutic Strategies Suggested
The patient mentioned in the case study is suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. In the initial phase of the treatment, she was suggested to undergo neuroleptic pharmacotherapy especially antipsychotic drugs. The medication has been found to be effectual in treating the 'positive symptoms' of the disease, the treatment of 'negative symptoms' has not very yet found to be very successful. Later on she was suggested to undergo psychotherapeutic interventions like reality-oriented individual therapy so that she could be able to cope up with stressful thoughts and events encountered which eventually reduce the risk for relapse, cognitive-behavioural approach helps in monitoring and changing the negative patterns of thoughts and behaviours in ways to make her able to regulate irrational thoughts