Psychotic disorders are some of the most disruptive and well-known mental health conditions out there today. Those who suffer from these disorders experience scary and complicated mental symptoms. These disorders are often complex and may have a connection to drug addiction. Chemically-induced psychosis is a possibility when it comes to cases of co-occurring disorders.
Psychotic disorders cover a range of several different disorders. These disorders often obstruct a person’s ability to perceive reality accurately. Over time, these potentially drug-induced mental disorders can cause a person to not be able to tell what’s real and what’s not. These disorders can be extremely stressful and complicated, especially if it is linked to drug and alcohol abuse. These cases usually require comprehensive care and treatment.
At Free by the Sea, we strive to make sure you or a loved one can overcome your mental disorder and addiction. In many psychotic disorder cases, complete treatment is necessary to achieve a clearer and happier mind. If you or a loved one is suffering from psychotic disorders or drug addiction, don’t hesitate to get help today.
Psychotic disorders are also referred to as psychosis. These disorders are categorized as mental conditions that intensely disrupts a person’s thoughts and emotions. As a result, a person is unable to see objective reality. When these psychotic episodes occur a person is unable to differentiate between reality and stimuli. These can come in a variety of symptoms: hallucinations, nonsensical speech, delusions, and other behavior. Let’s take a closer look at each of these.
Hallucinations are sights or sounds that your mind perceives that aren’t actually there. This can include a variety of different experiences, which include seeing someone in the room that’s not there or hearing voices. In some cases, a person may experience certain smells or tastes that have no real source. Hallucinations can be confusing and frightening at times for a person dealing with a psychotic disorder.
Delusions are inaccurate or false beliefs that a person believes (or is fixated on). Sometimes delusions are so severe that they are characterized as a disorder called delusional disorder. A delusional disorder includes thoughts that are usually strange or highly unlikely thoughts. These could be anything from thinking you are being targeted to thinking aliens are watching you.
These thoughts can cause a person to misinterpret or even exaggerate certain encounters or experiences related to their delusion. When someone experiences these delusions, over time they will eventually change their lifestyle and behavior to accommodate these thoughts. Psychosis-based delusions can be problematic because the person can’t be reasoned with, they are fully consumed by their delusions.
Psychotic disorders can last for a short or a long period of time. There are many different types of psychotic disorders. As it stands, schizophrenia is the most common form of psychotic disorder and affects millions of people every year. Other psychotic disorders can cause a number of negative mental and physical effects on the body over time. Common types of psychotic disorders include:
As the most common form of psychotic disorder, schizophrenia creates a range of psychosis symptoms for the person. These can last for months or even years on end. Schizophrenia symptoms can be so disruptive they can affect a person’s work, social functions, and school. About 3.2 million Americans have schizophrenia. Schizophrenia can occur at any point in a person’s life, but it’s mostly developed during early adulthood.
Some of the common symptoms of schizophrenia include:
On the other side of the spectrum, a person may also experience negative symptoms. These symptoms are often more mundane and take the form of silence as opposed to rambling or nonsensical speech. These symptoms will look different from person to person. Negative symptoms of schizophrenia include:
Another form of psychosis is caused by certain drugs (psychoactive substances) or withdrawals from a certain drug. Several drugs create hallucinations and distorted delusions/perceptions. Stimulants like cocaine and meth create delusional paranoia. Hallucinogens like LSD usually create intense sensory hallucinations among other symptoms. Alcohol or other drug use can sometimes cause temporary psychosis which stems from withdrawal (or combining alcohol with another substance).
When a person is already dealing with a psychotic disorder, taking certain drugs can exasperate certain symptoms. This is especially true with hallucinogens and other substances. A person will experience distress and disorientation with their surroundings. They may struggle to navigate the environment around them. Substance abuse can lead to severe consequences such as self-harm, violence, injury, or suicide.
Withdrawal is another dangerous factor when it comes to chemically-induced psychosis. When a person stops using a certain substance they will experience withdrawal symptoms. During this phase of withdrawal, a person will feel pain and discomfort. Which can lead them to act without thinking to relieve the distress. This can be dangerous for people who are already dealing with the intense deceptive symptoms of psychosis. Drug-induced mental disorders can be severely problematic and dangerous for the person and those around them.
While psychotic disorders stem from a variety of different reasons, sometimes drug abuse can be to blame for certain psychotic symptoms. Drugs that create chemically-induced psychosis can be extremely problematic and results in a disorder called – substance-induced psychotic disorder. Some people end up developing certain psychotic symptoms due to substance abuse and withdrawal (which are much more excessive than the drug’s usual symptoms).
These symptoms and drug effects can last for a few weeks or may last even longer. It is known that hallucinogens, cannabis, and stimulants change the brain’s activity when it comes to dopamine and glutamate. When the brain’s level of glutamate and dopamine is affected (high levels of dopamine and too much/too little glutamate) the person experiences psychotic symptoms. Chemically-induced psychosis can be extremely disorienting for a person and can lead to risky and dangerous behavior. This is especially true if the person is already dealing with a psychotic disorder in the first place. It’s important to reach out for help to determine the next course of action when dealing with drug-induced mental disorders.
Co-occurring disorders occur when a person is struggling with a mental disorder and addiction at the same time. These cases typically involve more intense treatment like residential/inpatient aid. Dealing with a psychotic disorder and an addiction can be a complex and sensitive situation. Both of these must be treated separately but at the same time (without interfering with each other).
When left untreated, co-occurring disorders can begin to feed off each other, which creates a vicious cycle of drug use. People may use drugs to alleviate the effects of their disorder; however, the opposite is true. Substance abuse only ends up worsening the effects of mental disorders. With the complications of withdrawal symptoms and other unpredictable effects, professional help is recommended.
Treating a co-occurring disorder takes time and patience with the help of professional care like Free by the Sea. Treating co-occurring disorders involves a mix of therapy and medication. Psychotherapy is an essential part of treating both mental disorders and addiction. It’s important to focus on the root of a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. In these cases, it’s important to be patient and commit to full treatment to achieve recovery for both conditions.
Medication like agonists and replacement drugs are sometimes used to help tame the cravings for certain substances. However, all these medications involve close supervision and care when being administered. This is why most co-occurring disorder cases are done in a rehab center via residential/inpatient treatment. This form of treatment allows a person to stay in a safe and monitored center with 24/7 assistance when needed. Co-occurring disorders require lots of resources and professional care for an effective and successful recovery.
Addiction and drug-induced mental disorders can be extremely problematic and painful for everyone involved. Over time, psychosis symptoms can become dangerous and crippling if left untreated. When mixed with drugs in a co-occurring disorder, these symptoms become even worse and even more dangerous.
At Free by the Sea, we want to help you overcome your addiction and mental disorders in a smooth and effective process. Our passionate team is ready to guide you towards a better life. It is never too late to reach out for help. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment options and if you have any questions at all.
Dr. Richard Crabbe joined our team in 2019 as our psychiatrist and medical director. He attended the University of Ghana Medical School where he became a Medical Doctor in 1977. From 1978 through 1984, he was a medical officer in the Ghana Navy and provided a variety of services from general medicine to surgeries. He received his Certificate in General Psychology from the American Board of Psychology and Neurology in 2002.