Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Is there a difference between PTSD and Psychosis?

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, can occur following the experience or witnessing of life-threatening events such as military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents, or violent personal assaults like childhood sexual abuse and sexual assault as an adult. People who experience PTSD often relive the experience through nightmares and flashbacks, have difficulty sleeping, and feel detached or estranged, and these symptoms can be severe enough and last long enough to significantly impair the person's daily life.


Psychosis is a psychiatric classification for a mental state in which the perception of reality is distorted. Persons experiencing a psychotic episode may experience hallucinations (often auditory or visual hallucinations), hold paranoid or delusional beliefs, experience personality changes and exhibit disorganized thinking (see thought disorder). This is sometimes accompanied by features such as a lack of insight into the unusual or bizarre nature of their behavior, difficulties with social interaction and impairments in carrying out the activities of daily living.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't the difference that PTSD is caused by an event or events, and psychosis is organic?

January 19, 2005 12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PTSD is a reaction to trauma.
Psychosis is being out of touch with reality.

January 19, 2005 8:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PTSD is a lingering reaction to trauma (that is, continuing to respond to non-life-threatening reminders of the trauma as if the trauma is happening again) and is defined as a psychiatric CONDITION, while psychosis is a psychiatric illness. The former is utterly reversible with therapy and sometimes the assistance of medications to help regulate the cycle of hyper-vigilance and numbing that accompany PTSD; while the latter carries a less favorable prognosis. That's at least the way I understand it.
Hope this helps.
For more information, you might want to visit the websites of ISTSS (International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies)at istss.org, the Sidran Institute (sidran.org)Foundation, as well as ISSD (The International Society for the Study of Dissociation)at issd.org, among others. Also, there's always WebMd--a rather laconic though reputable site for medical information.

January 19, 2005 8:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the info on those sites.

I'm curious as to whether any other abuse survivors have ever explored EMDR? I'm thinking of investigating this as a way to alleviate anxiety, etc.


January 20, 2005 2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>I'm curious as to whether any other abuse survivors have ever explored EMDR?

EMDR? You have got to be kidding. You would be better off staring at windshield wipers in your car.

January 31, 2005 7:27 PM  

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