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Medication and Drugs

What is drug induced psychosis?


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September 13, 2011 3:32PM

First Psychosis:

Psychosis is functionally a break with reality, wherein the patient exhibits hallucinations and/or delusions. The patient's objective grasp of reality is distorted. While psychosis can be treated, it really can't be cured.

Since psychology emerged as a science, folks have been arguing over whether psychosis was caused by neurophysiological issues (physical stuff and nature) or behavioral/cognitive issues (mind stuff, childhood and nurture). Since then, lots of progress has been made on both sides of this argument == there are empirical aspects of both. My guess is the reality of it is that both aspects factor into it.

However, drug induced psychosis or stimulant psychosis isn't the same thing at all. The drugs that induce this form of psychosis are all stimulants, most commonly amphetimines and cocaine derrivatives. These drugs, among lots of other things, induce temporary episodes of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and they surely mess up the sleep cycle something fierce. Combine OCD with a hugely erratic sleep cycle and a lot of neurochemistry that occurs with stimulants, and weird things can happen.

One of these weird things is Stimulant Psychosis. While it manifests in ways that are similar to basic pshychosis, there are major differences in symptomology, etiology and -- most important -- the permanence of the pathology.

In laymans terms, stay awake on stimulants long enough and you'll halluncinate, display paranoia, develop memory and personality disorders, and generally act like a psychotic. However, this condition almost always reverses when the patient comes off the stimulants and gets some rest (I say "almost" as it's hard to say what happens when a natural psychotic starts hitting stimmulants? -- But anyway)...

Stimulant Psychoisis may present as an actual psychosis, but its treatment, mechanism and etiology are very different from actual psychosis.