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What is Psychosis?

There are a lot of terms associated with mental illnesses that cast a negative stigma on those who suffer. For instance, if you say someone suffers from mental illness, that person is seen in one light. However, if you say that person suffers from psychosis, then the person is viewed in another light. In reality, psychosis is just a general term for the symptoms of some mental illnesses that cause irregular thought patterns.

Psychotic Symptoms

So what exactly are psychosis and the psychotic symptoms that people suffer from? Chances are you know someone that suffers from these disorders. Those illnesses include:

• Bipolar Disorder
• Severe Depression
• Schizophrenia

In fact, psychosis represents itself in anyone that has an imbalance of dopamine and serotonin levels. Next time you hear the words “mental illness” or even “psychosis” or “psychotic episode” don’t immediately think of someone in a straitjacket in a padded room. It could be the person that is sitting next to you.

Treatment for Mental Illnesses

Throughout history mental illness has been misunderstood. Those who were put in charge of treating the patients would often resort to methods we think of as barbaric. For instance, for a good portion of history, mental illness was thought to be caused by demonic activity. The treatment was simply to get to church more often, pray, and become closer to God.

As medicine progressed it was discovered that there was actually something wrong with the brain. It was not simply a matter of not reading your Bible enough. The actual cause, however, was unknown, so treatments like straitjackets in a padded room, electro-shock therapy, and lobotomies were used all the way into the mid 1900’s.

It wasn’t until in the 1950’s or so that the true cause was discovered. Even then the dopamine and serotonin balances were not fully understood. Instead, doctors would use a drug that calmed people down in order to help regain rational thought. This progressed all the way until the 1970’s when the first atypical antipsychotic was developed. Due to severe side effects of losing white blood cells, it was only used when absolutely necessary. Just a couple of decades ago, in the 1990’s, the first widely used antipsychotic was put on the market. Over the next twenty years, Risperdal revolutionized the mental illness treatment methods.

Despite the knowledge, and despite the huge advances in treatments and medication, the drugs are still not entirely safe. For instance, males who use Risperdal can end up suffering from gynecomastia (they can end up growing breasts). Further research, and further studying needs to be done in order to find a treatment method with no side effects; preferably one that is all natural.

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