Alcoholic psychosis is an frequent companion of alcoholics, which are at the second and third stage of alcoholism. According to medical statistics we can come to conclusion that alcoholic psychosis is a condition, which can’t be met at the beginning of disease, however, the more the patient drinks, the more probability of psychosis development. There are different kinds of psychosis, which are met often at patients with alcoholism. There are three kinds:
- delirium (vulgar name is clanks);
- delusional alcoholic psychosis;
- pseudo paralysis;
- alcoholic encephalopathy;
- pocomania and other psychoses.
Every from the marked kinds of psychosis has its features and own symptoms. It is known, that the reason of appearance is not an alcohol, but its toxic products of decomposition, which are formed in a human body. Many psychosis don’t appear completely when an alcoholic is drinking and concentration of alcohol in a blood is high, but during the period when a percentage of alcohol metabolites increases – that is to say during so called abstinence symptom. The lowering of alcohol in a blood becomes as a favorable factor for escalation of psychotic conditions.
Nowadays there are no any doubts for doctors that psychoses – is direct and immediate consequence of alcoholism. In case, when we talk about a human, who drinks periodically even large doses of alcohol, psychosis doesn’t develop. Psychosis – is a diseases of those who has a painful attachment to alcoholic drinks, which is called by the doctors as dependence from alcohol. Besides, they also can appear as a consequence or to escalate because of such factors:
- come through infectious diseases;
- appearance of inflammation foci in organism;
- injury and its consequences;
- strong stress and overpowering the psyche factors.
These factors are development catalysts of psychological reactions of the certain type from so unhealthy human nervous system. It should be noted that alcoholic psychoses differ by varying complexity, among currently known forms are the next ones:
- acute psychosis;
- sub-acute psychosis;
- chronic psychosis and other kinds.
Almost half of all psychoses, appearing at patients with alcoholism, are acute forms of disease. About 30% from total quantity are sub-acute and chronic forms. If an alcoholic has suffered from psychosis, then a probability that it will appear again is very high.
During a psychosis alcoholic suffers from inadequate perception of reality, and also feels a whole range of unpleasant and dangerous for life physiological symptoms. In that case, when experience of alcoholism is about 5-7 years, manifestation of psychosis is almost guaranteed. Patients with such “experience” of alcohol drinking, as a rule, have such psychological “exacerbation” not for the first time. 13% of alcoholics, drinking more than 5 years, for sure have problems with disorders of the nervous system, translating into psychosis.
Alcoholic hallucinations – is that kind of psychosis, which is met in about 5-10% cases of mental disorders at people, having dependence from an alcohol. It’s spread some less than well known for everyone delirium tremens, ranked second place after it by “the popularity” among alcoholics. We should mark also a gender specification of the disease: women mostly suffer from hallucinations with a great length of alcoholic drinks consumption.
One of the significant differences of hallucinations is in the fact that a patient doesn’t lose the orientation in time and space, and remains alert. Besides, alcoholic remember well everything that had happened to them during the psychosis and even more: they can tell about all that feelings, experiences and thoughts, which have come to their minds during the hallucinations. Scary, isn’t it?
Alcoholic hallucinations, as the other kinds of psychoses, can be:
Acute form of this psychosis almost always appears as a result of booze and develops during alcohol withdrawal syndrome and requires for the compulsory medical and psychiatric intervention of specialists. Such form of psychosis is characterized by the next symptoms:
- the auditory hallucinations are observed at a patient (he hears talks, burble, shouts and other extraneous sound);
- visual and tactile cheats can develop at a patient;
- an alcoholic can suffers from persecution mania or other intrusive thoughts and ideas;
- mood and emotional status of a patient is reduced, he feels depressed, irritability, aggression;
- there are tracked features at a patient’s behavior, which satisfy his mood (alcoholic tries to run off and hide and so on);
- a human can search different arsenal for self-defense from imaginary danger (and may God give it to him);
- as a result of an above paragraph – it is physical harm to others, who allegedly want to harm alcoholic.
An acute form of psychosis can bother a patient form several days to week or even longer. As a rule, hallucinations, which torture a patient during a month or several months, transfers into form of sub-acute. Patients, who suffer from sub-acute form of hallucinations, can pass through periods of exacerbation and calm of this disease. If a fear disturbs a patient during an acute hallucination, then in case of sub-acute psychosis it transfers into an anxiety. The next symptoms are characteristic for sub-acute form:
- a patients stays in bed for a long time;
- a physical activity absent almost completely, a patient becomes sedentary;
- an alcoholic begins to listen to imaginary voices, pausing for some time;
- persecution mania can develop;
- a patient can begin to speak with voices, which he hears, answering them.
Alcoholic, suffering from sub-acute form, can even be used to voices, perceiving them as something normal, but a brown study and bad mood – are those characteristics, which become a part of his self-awareness.
In case, when a psychosis lasts more than several years, there are almost no guarantees, that a patient can be treated. Doctors say that complete abstinence from alcohol and constant medical supervision in compliance with all therapeutic procedures can give a lasting positive effect, setting free a patient from obsessive hallucinations.
Alcoholic paranoid – is another kind of alcoholic psychosis, being met among the patients of drug specialists. Acute and chronic forms are characteristic for paranoid, and one of the main characteristic of this condition – is systematic delusions. Among basic “plots” of a delirium are such scenes:
- jealously and generated emotions by this;
- scenes of chases and harassments;
- plots of poisonings, murders and suchlike plots.
Paranoid begins to develop as an usual delirium, which is substantially not bound with hallucinations. Sometimes specialists note the dependence of delirium from hallucinations. Well known cases, when hallucinations and patient’s delirium have only relations, but also a common story. Jealousy is one of the most spread stories among the alcoholics. Other motives are admixed to jealousy – chases, persecutions, attempts of murders and so on.
As a rule, doctors record the symptoms, which accompany paranoid:
- unstable blood pressure changes;
- sleep disorders (insomnia, nightmares);
- headaches and dizziness;
- inability to tolerate heat and raising of ambient temperature.
Besides, a patient with paranoid stops to control himself and doesn’t notice that gives expression to his any feelings. Incontinence, irritability, aggressiveness, somber mood – are the satellites of patient’s paranoid.
Strong intoxication of alcoholic’s organism becomes a whence of condition, which is known as delusional psychosis. As a rule, it appears not just so, but circs, which are perceived by organism as difficult: in a long journey in an unfamiliar company or at an unknown location, against a background of severe fatigue, as a consequence of injury and so on. The basic symptom of this kind of psychosis – is a delirium wit element of persecution mania.
It seems for patient, suffering from this psychosis, that others are plotting something with a purpose to harm him – alcoholic. It is often when patients think that not only he is a danger but also his family and even friends and colleagues. It may seem to alcoholic that attackers build crayons machinations or plan something frightful – murder, defacement, rape. As a “preventive measures” a patient can attack first at alleged “malicious”. And this plot mostly will be finished tragically.
Fusing from any medicines – is a usual scheme of behavior for those, who suffers from delusional psychosis. The fact is it seems for patient that everybody wants to poison him, and this is e reason of refusing from any medicines. Very often patients begin refusing from a food and drink, which are suggested from other hands. Even packed food and drinks may become an object of painful suspicions.
An alcoholic, aped shit, almost flatly refuses to perceive reality adequately. One tenth of the cases, related to delusional psychosis, are the cases based on jealous. Alcoholic thinks that a second half has a lover. Against a background of this there is a detachment from the spouse and cooling in relations. Besides, usually the situation is exacerbated by the fact that the “experienced” alcoholics may suffer from impotence. Such alcoholic, as a rule, begins to blame his wife in all their troubles and it is impossible to conceive him, and all the more so to make a conscious decision to visit specialists.
Alcoholic pseudo paralysis – is a condition, which, as a rule, develops from those alcoholics, who drinks alcoholic substitutes or alcohol of low quality. Besides, favorable backgrounds for the development of pseudo paralysis are the following conditions:
- spare diet;
- metabolism disorders;
- diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.
A patient, suffering from pseudo paralysis, has moral and intellectual degradation development, and legal effect of it is permanently condition of euphoria and visible complacency. Such alcoholic is not able to evaluate his actions soberly and critically. Evaluation of mistakes and defects is also unladylike for a patient. Well known the cases when megalomania develops at alcoholic against the background of individual reassessment.
A forecast for such patients is often joyless: in course of time delirium and hallucinations will subside, but alcoholic will become sluggish and almost completely stops to respond to others. Among neurologic symptoms of disease are the next:
- pain in the hands and legs;
- metabolic disorders;
- a lack of vitamin D and thymine;
- trembling of fingers;
- abnormal tendon reflex.
If slight symptoms of pseudo paralysis were notice, alcoholic has a doctor for sure, because lots of consequences of this condition are irreversible.
A condition of alcoholic encephalopathy appears at patients, which have a great experience of drinking. As a rule, it occurs with those alcoholics, who have used to “fool” with strong drinks – vodka, cognac or even alcoholic surrogates. Among additional factors of risk are drunken or chronic characters of alcoholism.
Somatic and neurological disorders, appearing during encephalopathy, are varying, among them the next conditions are characteristic:
- subvitaminosis and beriberi;
- metabolic disorders;
- lack of vitamin D and thymine;
- imbalance in the body of nicotinic acid and pyridoxine.
It is known that a lack of thymine cause persistent disorders in work of brain and liver.
Hemorrhagic polio encephalitis
A condition, which is also called by the specialists as Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, and it take not the last place among those psychoses and disorders of nervous system, which chase an alcoholic. Actually, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome – is a severe disease, including not only symptoms of psychological disorders, but also somatic and neurological disorders. They appear as a consequence of the destructive effects of alcohol on the weakened alcoholic’s body.
Patients, suffering from Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, as a rule, have such organic symptoms:
- varying sleep disorders;
- eyeball motility disorders;
- violation of reflexes (sternutative, swallowing, breathing).
Besides, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is accompanied also by other less important disorders. Among psychological symptoms, which appear with this disease are the next ones:
- professional signs of delirium;
- signs of muttering delirium;
- potential state of stun, which follows after delirium.
If a patient has a state of delirium, then it is usually accompanied by muscle cramps, diarrhea, palpation of the liver, decrease in blood pressure and other symptoms, testifying about improper functioning of the organism. Often such delirium may end lethally.
As an independent disease alcoholic depression practically does not occur. As a rule, it accompanies other psychoses, typical for alcoholics. Practice shows, that this state may has different duration: lasts from several days to several weeks. Among the basic symptoms, which accompany alcoholic depression are the next ones:
- a sense of longing;
- feeling of inferiority;
- the feeling of guilt to their families.
For alcoholic depression are specific mood swings during the day. In addition to all the other symptoms, the patient may also have underweight (dystrophy), feeling of constant anxiety and excessive tearfulness. It is necessary to keep watch over an alcoholic in a state of alcoholic depression, because patients often have suicidal thoughts, which sometimes they try to bring to life.
Dipsomania – is a mental disorder, the main feature of which is the desire for drunken consumption of alcoholic beverages. It is often when dipsomania is called not only as uncontrollable craving to drink but also a condition of booze, in which an alcoholic is. Attack of dipsomania can develop seemingly from nothing.
Suppose that an alcoholic is in a relatively stable state. Then patient’s mood fades, a strong thirst appears, the intensity of headache increases and even dizziness are possible. Naturally, at the same time the patient begins to feel the desire to “drink”, which eventually becoming stronger.
Well known cases, when patients try to fight with dipsomania independently, but without doctors’ help their attempts almost always are doomed to failure. Typical symptoms, occurring during a state of dipsomania, are even more surprising:
- anorexia (the patient can do not eat at all);
- slight tremor of limbs.
However with all this, symptoms of drunkenness almost aren’t come out, a patient is almost firmly planted on his feet. At the end of dipsomania attack an alcoholic’s walk can change, becoming unsure, and also diarrhea and retching can appear. This attack is ending off as abruptly as it begins. According to statistic datum we can say that men usually suffer from dipsomania, because the percentage of women, periodically suffering from dipsomania is very small.
Doctors report that in general, patients, suffering from recurrent seizures of dipsomania, drink much less alcoholic beverages than chronic or domestic alcoholics. However, at the same time, it necessary to make proviso, that an effect of such fatal “shock” boozes can be fatal for organism. It is known also that such patients can do not drink at all between seizures. Pauses can last from half of the year to several years.
Currently it is difficult for specialists to answer the question of why the occasional drinkers sometimes are in need of single strong booze. It would seem that these patients do not have true alcohol dependence, and only sometimes they have a strong desire to get drunk. It is worth noting that dipsomania – is a form of psychosis that occurs among patients of drug specialists rather rare.
This kind of psychosis – is a severe form of psychological disorders, which is met at alcoholics, treated by desulfiram (Antabuse). Treatment of alcoholic by this drug aginst the background of weakening and organic damages of the organism can cause the appearance of this type of psychosis. Inferiority of the nervous system, which is typical for most alcoholics, is also a prerequisite. In addition, the appearance of this psychosis is caused by presence of brain injury, which is applied to the treatment by Antabuse.
There are several stages of this psychosis development:
- prodromal stage;
- main stage;
- final stage.
Prodromal stage of this psychosis may last from several days to several weeks. During this stage the patient feels weakness, drowsiness, has sleep disorders, heart pain. In addition, a patient during this period is in a bad mood: the patient may be in a somber mood, close to depression or other negative psychological states.
The height of the disease may be characterized by different course. Among the possible variants for disease courses are the next ones:
- state of confusion;
- state hallucinations;
- the presence of paranoid delusions (can be combined with hallucinations);
The final stage of the disease, as a rule, based on these symptoms:
- general weakness;
- emotional devastation;
- constant sleepiness.
After the end of psychosis patients, usually almost do not remember what happened to him during this period. Memories of those days, which occurred in a state of psychosis, are vague and do not allow the alcoholic to recreate in his memory a complete picture of what was happening to him. A patient may stay in a state of psychosis from several days to several months. But then he can hardly remember how many times h was in a condition of Ventolin psychosis.
Suicide – a frequent phenomenon for patients who suffer from precipitates a psychosis. The reasons for suicide may be different. The idea is that an alcoholic may be willing to commit suicide for different reasons, for example:
- affective fluctuations arise as a result of alcohol intoxication;
- personal features (temperament, character, etc.);
- life situations, under pressure of which takes such a decision is taken.
Experts report that the more the personality of alcoholic has degraded the more probability that a patient will try to lay hands on himself. Usually suicidal thoughts and attempts to action (with varying levels of success) to take those alcoholics who have kept more or less sober mind and a certain level of intellectual abilities. Suicide attempts among those who suffer from dementia are rare.
Conflicts in the family – this is one of the main reasons that push the patient to commit suicide. In addition, there are not rare the cases when an alcoholic who is “sick” with irresistible jealousy can destroy not only himself, but also his wife and an imaginary “lover.” Children are also may be the subjects to arbitrary or involuntary infringements by an alcoholic. Actions, having suicidal nature and direction for himself or for somebody of family members, are usually committed by an alcoholic in a state of bad mood, depression, or in the heat of passion.
It should be noted that treatment of all the aforesaid psychosis – is a task for a team of specialists, including not only drug specialists, but also experts of the psychological or mental health, which will help the alcoholic to solve the problem of alcoholism effectively and psychosis occurring as a result of dependence from alcoholic beverages.
It is logical to assume that the self-treatment from alcoholism and emerged on its basis psychosis, it is an unbearable and exigeant task. Noting that one of the relatives, friends, or family shows signs of alcoholism, you should necessarily consult qualified specialists. It is necessary to do the same way if there are observed symptoms of any described above alcoholic psychosis.
At the stage of psychosis appearance it is useless to fight with a disease, and sometimes even dangerous. It is difficult to say how the patient will behave himself with reference to those, who want to help him, simple conversations and “persuasion” will not help in this situation.