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Understanding Psychosis

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  1. An Introduction to Psychotic Disorders
    What is Psychosis?
  2. Introduction to Psychosis and Treatment Options
  3. The Signs & Symptoms of Psychosis
    The Signs & Symptoms of Psychosis
  4. Delusions
    3 Topics
  5. Hallucinations
    1 Topic
  6. Reacting to Psychotic Experiences
  7. The Causes of Psychosis
    Exploring the Causes of Psychosis
  8. Diagnosing Psychotic Disorders
    The Diagnosis of Schizophrenia
  9. The Diagnosis of Schizoaffective Disorder
    5 Topics
  10. Treatment for Psychosis
    Treatment Available for Psychosis
    5 Topics
  11. What Are Antipsychotic Drugs?
    8 Topics
  12. The Side Effects of Antipsychotics
    12 Topics
  13. Mental Health Services
    Hospital Admission and Crisis Services
  14. Community Care and Advocacy for Psychosis
  15. Living with Psychosis
    Overcoming Psychotic Experiences
  16. How Can I Help Myself During a Psychotic Episode?
  17. What Can Family & Friends Do to Help?
  18. Challenging Stereotypes and Stigma
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The healthcare professionals who can prescribe you antipsychotics include:

  • a psychiatrist
  • your doctor (GP)
  • a specialist nurse prescriber
  • a specialist pharmacist

When you are first prescribed antipsychotics, this is usually done by a psychiatrist. Your GP can also sometimes give your first prescription. But they are more likely to give you ongoing prescriptions, once you are already taking the medication prescribed by a psychiatrist.

Your doctor has to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of treatment. The benefits to you, your family and friends have to be balanced against the disadvantage of unpleasant side effects. Doctors also have to ask themselves what might happen if the drugs were not prescribed. A person with psychotic symptoms may show dangerous behaviour, or such disturbed ideas, that they put their own or other people’s lives in danger. This may also place great strain on carers and the people they live with. Some people who experience psychosis cope better with it than others. If you have had frequent psychotic episodes, you may have developed your own coping strategies, which could mean you need to rely less on medication than other people.

People respond differently to medication, and doctors have to decide on each case, individually. When a drug is prescribed, your doctor should take into account any medical conditions the patient is suffering from. It may mean that a particular drug is not suitable, or only in low doses.

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