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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5313
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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what are the specific signs of psychosis

Customer Question

what are the specific signs of psychosis
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.

Hi! I believe I can be of help with this issue.

I can imagine how worrisome this situation must be for you. You are clearly a very loving and caring aunt to be making these efforts on your niece's behalf. That's really wonderful.

In one sense I can understand the therapist's hesitation in getting your niece involved with meds given that she is recovering from addiction. On the other hand, if she's having psychotic symptoms, then that worry needs to be overridden. Seroquel is an antipsychotic used in treating schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder, which both feature psychotic symptoms. If she's done well before with Seroquel, you are very right in thinking about psychiatric evaluation.


Psychotic disorders share these symptoms:


Delusions--believing something is true that we know is clearly not, whether paranoid delusion or not.


Hallucinations--whether audio or visual. This means that she is hearing voices, not just having "thoughts" that she knows are her own.


Disorganized thinking and speech--that means you can't follow her train of thought because it just doesn't make sense.


Disorganized behavior--like sometimes being catatonic when talked to, for example.


I want to stress: I've worked with people with psychotic symptoms throughout my career and I urge you to err on the side of getting her to a psychiatric evaluation. Untreated psychotic disorders can cause long term damage as each succeeding episode builds on previous ones' severity.

Okay, I wish you the very best!

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Her mother and I are at wits end. She has repeatedly asked for a psych referral and has been denied.

a major problem is that she was taken off the seroquel cold turkey. We are seeking other avenues to get a referral. I can see her declining day by day.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.
I'm confused: I cannot imagine that her MD refused to refer to a psychiatrist if she is having severe symptoms even if they are not fully psychotic!


If this IS the situation, though, then you need to take her to the ER of a big city hospital in your area that has a psychiatric unit and describe the symptoms to the ER docs and ask if a psychiatric resident could come and treat her. Then you could tell him/her history and see whether he/she will prescribe for her.


All the best, Dr. Mark

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