Shared Psychotic Disorder

Shared psychotic disorder is a frequent phenomenon characterized by one individual adopting the psychotic or delusion thinking of another individual. The research shows that this disorder is minimal. This condition is common mainly among the women and especially the people who live within the same household. It may occur between spouses, sibling, and within a parent-child dyad.

Shared Psychotic Disorder Symptoms and psychotic features:

The primary features includes the emerging of delusion within the individual who has a close relationship with another person who is afflicted with a psychotic disorders and delusion. These delusion and symptoms normally resemble those of delusion disorder. The delusions in the secondary case are typically identical in the content to the delusions of the primary affected person. Delusion may disappear if the secondary person is separated from the primary person. Sometimes the primary individual may be suffering from one or several psychotic illness.

The delusion may be nonbizarre, mood-congruent, or bizarre. Apart from possessing delusional beliefs, the secondary individual typically does not manifest any unusual behavior unless associated with the delusion itself. Moreover, the secondary individual does not necessarily possess a shared psychotic disorder before developing the disorder. The individual is generally not as severely impaired by the delusion belief as is the primary individual.

In the shared psychotic disorder it is generally noted that the primarily affected individual is often in a position to profoundly influence the secondary individual may be more passive and suggestible in such a dyad. However, it is not always limited to two individuals. The disorder may potentially affect an entire group of individuals, such as the family.

Considering that children are often impressionable, it is not surprising that this disorder has been reported to occur in parent to child dyads. However, there are no enough amount information that specifically addresses how the disorder affects children and adolescent.

Shared Psychotic Disorder Age at Onset and Etiology:

This disorder is capable of being present through the life. It may occur in both children and adults. However, because it is a very rare disorder, specific information about when it usually starts is not available. Individual essentially adopting the psychotic symptoms of another person induces this disorder. The exact order by which this happens remains unknown. It has been hypothesized that the appearance of the psychotic illness in the primary individual triggers the signs of a psychotic illness in the primary individual triggers the onset of the disorder in a genetically or biologically predisposed secondary individual. However, clinical evidence suggest that physiological factors may play a role in its development.

Differential diagnosis and treatment:

Due to the uniqueness of this disorder, the differential diagnosis for this condition is not as extensive as in other psychiatric illness. To diagnose this disorder, you identify some similar delusion in both primary individual and secondary individual.

Given that shared psychotic disorder is generally believed to be caused primarily by the psychosocial influences of one individual from the primary individual. After the separation occurs, close monitoring as well as emotional support is generally provided to the secondary individual to see if the delusional symptoms disappear. If the symptoms do not disappear within a short time, then anti-psychotic medication is considered.


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