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Mental Health and Shared Psychotic Disorder


How Is Shared Psychotic Disorder Treated?

The goal of treatment is to relieve the secondary case of the induced delusion and stabilize the primary person's psychotic disorder. In most cases, treatment involves separating the secondary case from the primary case. Other approaches might be necessary if separation is not possible.

Treatment options for the person with shared psychotic disorder might include the following:

  • Psychotherapy: A type of counseling, psychotherapy can help the person with shared psychotic disorder recognize the delusion and correct the underlying thinking that has become distorted. It also can address relationship issues and any emotional effects of a short-term separation from the person with a psychotic disorder. However, psychotherapy without antipsychotic medications is rarely able to alter false, fixed beliefs.
  • Family therapy: Family therapy might focus on increasing exposure to outside activities and interests as well as the development of social supports to decrease isolation, encourage medication adherence, and help prevent relapse. Family therapy also might help to improve communication and family dynamics.
  • Medication: Short-term treatment with antipsychotic medication might be used if the delusions do not resolve after separation from the primary case. In addition, tranquilizers or sedative agents such as Ativan or Valium can help alleviate intense symptoms that might be associated with the disorder. These symptoms include anxiety (nervousness), agitation (extreme restlessness), or insomnia (inability to sleep).

What Complications Are Associated With Shared Psychotic Disorder?

Left untreated, shared psychotic disorder can become chronic (ongoing).

What Is the Outlook for People With Shared Psychotic Disorder?

With treatment, a person with shared psychotic disorder has a good chance for recovery.

Can Shared Psychotic Disorder Be Prevented?

Because the cause is unknown, there is no known way to prevent shared psychotic disorder. However, early diagnosis and treatment can help decrease the disruption to the person's life, family and friendships.


WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on February 11, 2014
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