Psychosis: Psychiatrist harps on early detection


A consultant psychiatrist at the General Hospital Minna, Dr Itopa Garba has said that early detection of psychosis in a patient, would help in managing the ailment and rid the society of people with psychotic behaviour.

Garba, who is also a Behavioural Scientist, told the press in an interview in Minna that many people with psychosis would have been cured if relatives responded timely by seeking psychiatric intervention.

He described as unfair, the situation where many psychotic patients roam the streets naked, eating from one dustbin to another, adding that this is mostly because affected families and the government did not do the needful.

Garba said that early detection and treatment would cure many with such disorders, and prevent them from roaming the streets.

“There is nothing to be ashamed of if one has a child, ward, spouse or a relative who is psychotic.

The favour that should be done for such a person is a visit to a psychiatrist for early diagnosis, possible treatment and cure,” he said.

He noted that negligence and stigma were also major causes of high number of psychiatric patients roaming the streets.

“Early diagnosis and treatment of psychosis encourages long-term outcomes. This is why persons with the symptoms should be helped medically as early as noticed.

A psychotic may experience hallucinations or delusions; as they see or hear things that do not exist.

The situation can be incredibly frightening for the individual and often the symptoms can cause them to lash out and hurt themselves or others as they are not in control of their emotions,” he said.

Garba called on those whose relatives exhibit symptoms of psychosis to ensure they get help on time before it degenerates.

He also called on the authorities to mop up every psychotic case on the streets, for the good of the patient as well as the society.

Psychiatrists say that psychosis is a mental disorder, sometimes referred to as madness. It is a condition that affects the mind and makes it difficult for the person to function normally.

Wikipedia Online dictionary describes psychosis as a severe mental disorder, in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality.

It went further to say that psychosis may occur as a result of a psychiatric illness such as schizophrenia. In other instances, it may be caused by a health condition, medication or drug use.

Possible symptoms include delusions, hallucinations, talking incoherently and agitation.
The person with the condition usually is not aware of his or her behaviour.
Treatment may include medication and talk therapy.