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Mental Health First Aid (part 1)

Mental Health First Aid (part 1)

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Published by Susan Cruz

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Published by: Susan Cruz on Aug 29, 2011
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06/29/2012

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Draji61512008NOTFORDISTRIBUTION
Chapter5.PSYCHOSISWhatispsychosis?
Psychosisisageneraltermtodescribeamentalhealthprobleminwhichapersonhaslostcontactwithreality.Thereareseveredisturbancesinthinking,emotion,andbehavior.Psychosisseverelydisruptsaperson'slife.Relationships,workandself-carearedifficulttoinitiateormaintain.
Commonsymptomswhenapsychoticdisorderisdeveloping:Changesinemotionandmotivation:
.:.Depression.:.Anxiety.:.Irritability.:.Suspiciousness.:.Blunted,flatorinappropriateaffect.:.Changeinappetite.:.Reducedenergyormotivation
Changesinthinkingandperception:
.:.Difficultieswithconcentrationorattention.:.Senseofalterationofself,othersortheoutsideworld(forexample,feelingthatselforothershavechangedorareactingdifferentlyinsomeway).:.Strangeideas.:.Unusualperceptualexperiences(forexample,reducedorincreasedintensityofsmell,soundorcolor)
Changesinbehavior:
.:.Sleepdisturbance.:.Socialisolationorwithdrawal.:.Reducedabilitytocarryoutworkandsocialroles
Source:EdwardsJ.,McGorryP.D.,ImplementingEarlyInterventioninPsychosis.MartinDunitz,London(2002)
Peopleintheearlystagesofapsychoticillnessoftengoundiagnosedforayearormorebeforereceivingtreatment.Amajorreasonforthisisthatpsychosisoftenbeginsinlateadolescenceorearlyadulthoodandtheearlysymptomsinvolvebehaviorsandemotions48
 
Drajt61512008NOTFORDISTRIBUTION
thatarecommontothisagegroup.Manyyoungpeoplewillhavesomeofthesesymptomswithoutdevelopingapsychosis.Itisunfortunatethatpsychosisoftentakessolongtobetreated.Theconsequencesofdelayedtreatmentinclude:"!SlowerandlesscompleterecoveryPoorerlongtermfunctioningIncreasedriskofdepressionandsuicideSlowerpsychologicalmaturationandsloweruptakeofadultresponsibilitiesStrainonrelationshipswithfriendsandfamilyandsubsequentlossofsocialsupportsDisruptionofstudyandemploymentIncreaseduseofdrugsandalcoholLossofself-esteemandconfidenceGreaterchanceofproblemswiththelawApersonshowingsymptomsofearlypsychosismayeventuallybediagnosedashavingoneofthefollowingdisorders:
Schizophrenia
Themostcommondisorderinwhichpsychosismaybeafeatureisschizophrenia.Schizophreniaaffects2.4millionAmericanseachyear(1.1
%).42
Schizophreniadoesnotmean"splitpersonality."Thetermschizophreniameans"fracturedmind"andreferstochangesinmentalfunctionwherethoughtsandperceptionsbecomedisordered.Themajorsymptomsofschizophreniainclude:
Delusions:
Thesearefalsebeliefsofpersecution,guilt,specialmissionorexaltedbirth,orbeingunderoutsidecontrol.
Hallucinations:
Thesearefalseperceptions.Hallucinationsmostcommonlyinvolvehearingvoices,butcanalsoinvolveseeing,feeling,tastingorsmellingthings.Theseareperceivedasveryrealbytheperson,butarenotactuallythere.Thehallucinationscanbeveryfrightening,especiallyvoicessayingnegativecommentsabouttheperson.Becausetheirdelusionsandhallucinationsaresorealtothem,itiscommonforpeoplewithschizophreniatobeunawaretheyareill.
Thinkingdifficulties:
Theremaybedifficultiesinconcentration,memoryandabilitytoplan.Thesemakeitmoredifficultforthepersontoreason,communicateandcompletedailytasks.
Lossofdrive:
Thepersonlacksmotivationevenforself-care.
It
isnotlaziness.
49
 
Drafi61512008-NOTFORDISTRIBUTION
Bluntedemotions:Thepersondemonstratesobliviousnesstothethingsaroundthemandoftenreactsinappropriately.Socialwithdrawal:Thismaybeduetolossofsocialskillsorfearofinteractingwithothers.Schizophreniaknowsnoracial,culturaloreconomicboundaries.Symptomsmayemergeinyoungadolescentsandyoungadults,ages13to25,oftenappearingearlierinmalesthanfemales.Theonsetoftheillnessmayberapid,withsymptomsdevelopingoverseveralweeks,oritmaybeslowanddevelopovermonthsoryears.Approximatelyone-thirdofpeoplewhodevelopschizophreniahaveonlyoneepisodeandfullyrecover,anotherthirdhavemultipleepisodesbutfeelwellinbetweenepisodes,andathirdhavealife-longillness.
Treatment
Inthepastpeoplewithschizophreniawereconsideredtohavechronicillnesseswithnohopeofrecovery.
It
isnowknownthatpeoplewhogetpropertreatmentcanleadproductiveandfulfillinglives.Infact,researchhasdemonstratedrecoveryispossibleformanypeoplewhoaretreatedwithmedicationsandpsychosocialrehabilitationprograms.
Bipolar
disorder
Peoplewithbipolardisorder(manic-depressiveillness)haveextrememoodswings,fluctuatingbetweenperiodsofdepression,maniaandnormalmood.
It
cantakebipolardisorderalongtimetobediagnosedcorrectlybecausethepersonmusthavehadepisodesofbothdepressionandmania.DuringtheepisodesofdepressionthepersonhassomeorallofthesymptomsdescribedinChapter3onDepression.Commonsymptomsofmaniainclude:IncreasedenergyandoveractivityElevatedmood:Thepersonwillfeelhigh,happy,andfullofenergy,onthetopoftheworld,invincible.Needlesssleepthanusual:Thepersoncangofordayswithverylittlesleep.Irritability:Thismayoccurifothersdisagreewithamanicperson'sunrealistic·plansorideas.Rapidthinkingandspeech:Thepersonmaytalktoomuch,toofastandkeepchangingtopics.50

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