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Neurological disease or conversion disorder? Important aspects of differential diagnosis - psychiatric and psychotherapeutic perspective. Case report

Abstract

Introduction: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive neurodegenerative disease with undetermined etiology. Due to diverse symptomatology, it requires a thorough differential diagnosis, with consideration of conversion disorders. The presented thesis describes a case of a young man hospitalized in the Department of Psychiatry in order to verify the possible psychogenic basis of his symptoms, which previously were considered to be a manifestation of neurological disease with an unfavorable prognosis.

Aim: The aim of the thesis is to raise the issue of a multidisciplinary approach to diagnostic process in medicine, as well as taking into account the legitimacy of including psychiatrists, psychologists, and psychotherapists in diagnostic teams.

Case study: We present a case report of a man who has been experiencing progressive feeling and walking problems for the past several years, which originally suggested a neurological or rheumatological disease. Earlier observations and medical tests had led to a diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. After several years, the diagnosis was excluded, and the patient was referred to the Department of Psychiatry to determine the possible psychogenic basis of his symptoms. Diagnostic methods used during the patient’s hospitalization confirmed the conversational nature of his symptoms, and both pharmacological and psychotherapeutic treatment caused reduction of severity of his symptoms and allowed him for a gradual return to independent functioning.

Conclusion: Analysis of the collected data, including patient’s life history and a course of his treatment, indicates the validity of a holistic approach to medical problems, which implies the inclusion of specialists in the field of psychiatry, psychology, as well as psychotherapists in diagnostic teams. Such a multidimensional view of the patient and the source of his symptoms may allow for faster diagnosis and may also contribute to reducing the risk of making mistakes such as an incorrect assessment of factors triggering the disease process.

Open access
Affective disorders in pregnancy and the postpartum period – from statistics to treatment. A synchronic approach.

Abstract

The progress of medicine in the recent decades has strongly improved perinatal care, especially its somatic-related aspects. Pregnancy and childbirth have become much safer, but the mental strain and stress have remained the same. The models of motherhood and the number of children in a family have changed, giving rise to significant requirements concerning the quality of life of the offspring. These changes have brought about new psychological challenge for women and a team of psychiatrists and gynaecologists – obstetricians. The aim of this study is to look at the affective disorders affecting women during pregnancy and postpartum: the postpartum depression and so-called baby blues, which were both compiled in the form of a table in the final part of this work to illustrate the differences between these two mental disorders.

Open access
Deep brain stimulation in the obsessive-compulsive syndrome

Abstract

Introduction The authors present an overview of current views on the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder refractory to pharmacological and psychological treatment.

Aim: To review the mechanisms of stimulation of deep brain structures and to evaluate the effectiveness of therapy in obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Method: Review and analysis of the Polish and foreign scientific articles from the years 1999-2016.

Conclusions: According to the literature considered, in half of the examined patients there was an improvement of over 35% on the Y-BOCS scale, in some patients even a reduction of symptoms reaching 81-83% was described. Previous studies have been carried out on small groups of patients. Since 2009, the method of invasive treatment with deep brain stimulation of the obsessive-compulsive syndrome is registered in the EU. In spite of the above, additional studies are necessary on a larger group of patients in order to precisely estimate the effectiveness of the procedure and elaborate the criteria for qualifying patients for inclusion in the procedure.

Open access
GHB receptors - a new trend in psychopharmacology?

Abstract

Introduction: Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) is commonly known as a recreation drug or the so-called “date rape drug”. It is also used in medicine to treat narcolepsy and alcohol addiction. GHB has an affinity for two types of receptors: GABAB and the relatively recently discovered GHB receptors. GHB receptors were first cloned in 2003 in mice and then in 2007 in humans. So far, evidence has been presented for their impact on dopaminergic transmission, which may imply that they play a role in the pathogenesis of diseases such as schizophrenia. At the same time, it has been demonstrated that benzamide antipsychotic drugs have an affinity for GHB receptors, which is why it is postulated that some of the effects of these drugs may result precisely from this affinity.

Aim: The study presents the current state of knowledge about GHB receptors and their potential role in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia, and discusses drugs which show an affinity for this receptor.

Material and method: The literature review was based on a search of articles indexed between 1965 and 2018 in Medline, Google Scholar, ScienceDirect and Research Gate databases. The following search terms were used: GHB receptor, GHB, sulpiride, and amisulpride.

Result and discussion: 1. It is possible that GHB receptors are involved in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia, although more research is needed in this area. 2. Part of the effects of some benzamide antipsychotic drugs (such as amisulpride) may be due to their affinity for GHB receptors.

Open access
Jacob Levy Moreno’s Psychodrama As a Work Technique For Treating Patients in Group and Individual Psychotherapy

Abstract

Introduction. The basic purpose of this article is to present Jacob Levy Moreno’s psychodrama method as the psychotherapeutic technique useful in work with patients during individual and group psychotherapy.

Material and Method: The author presents the analysis of case studies of patients treated in individual and group psychotherapy. He instances the examples of psychodramatic work on the stage as well as monodramatic and reports their importance in the process of patient psychotherapy. He discusses the effects of these act ivities in the context of changes in the emotional and interpersonal functioning of patients.

Results: The given examples of monodrama and psychodramatic works illustrate the mechanisms of the changes offered by the method, e.g. insight, abreaction, acceptance of internal impulses, confrontation with the feelings of other people, training of alternative behaviors. In the article one can follow each subsequent step of analyzing intrapsychic conflicts of patients, which, thanks to the play on the stage, can be named and experienced by them.

Conclusions: Psychodrama, used in the psychotherapeutic work of the group and in individual work with the patient (in the form of a monodrama), gives great opportunities to broaden the insight of the patient into very complicated internal mechanisms of conflicts and deficits. Psychotherapist - leader encourages patients to be creative and to spontaneous development of their blocked personality elements. The specificity of psychodrama is a relatively quick resolution of many years of ongoing conflict and permanent reparation of traumatic experiences, even from early childhood.

Open access
Positive Interventions in the Therapy of Schizophrenia Patients

Abstract

Positive psychology directs its research interests primarily to healthy people. The most important goal is to build a positive attitude towards yourself and the surrounding world. Recently, positive psychology has set a new area of research interest, which is clinical psychology. In recent years, several positive psychotherapy programs have been developed for people with schizophrenia experience. The article presents the latest trends in positive psychotherapy for people with schizophrenia. They involve taking into account the individual differences of each patient and the specificity of his / her psychopathology. As far as the therapeutic goals are concerned, there are interventions focused on strategies for enhancing positive emotions and wellbeing or the method of activating the strengths of character. Taking into account the methods of therapeutic work, they can be divided into training methods or those of the behavioral-cognitive psychotherapy as well as those that take into account the various aspects of meditation. The article presents the distribution of therapeutic programs in terms of the range of therapeutic goals in which the most important are: intensification of positive experiences, building of strengths of character and well-being. Therapeutic programs have been shown to focus not only on breaking down negative attitudes towards one’s own illness and life, but also on those that try to deal with the unsolved schizophrenia problem - negative symptoms.

Open access
Safety of concomitant treatment with Non-Vitamin K Oral Anticoagulants and SSRI/SNRI antidepressants

Abstract

Introduction: Warfarin has been considered as a “gold standard” in the prevention and treatment of thromboembolic events since 1954. Since the introduction of direct oral anticoagulants in the last few years (NOAC-Non-Vitamin K antagonist Oral Anticoagulants) prescriptions volume for apixaban, edoxaban, dabigatran and rivaroxaban have been gradually surpassing warfarin. The benefits include: anticoagulation from day one, fixed daily dosing, elimination for the need of international normalised ratio (INR) monitoring, fewer interactions with food and co-administered medicines with reduced risk of bleeding and better overall life quality.

Objectives: Assessing evidence for the safe use of Non-vitamin K Oral Anticoagulants (NOAC) with Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) and Serotonin and Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRI).

Method: Review of literature published between 2014 and 2016 was made using the key words: Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor, Serotonin and Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors, apixaban, dabigatran, edoxaban, rivaroxaban, bleeding, interaction, depression with time description from 2014 to 2018. Evidence within the literature was then compared with guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (UK), British National Formulary (UK), Clinical Excellence Commission (Australia), Thrombophilia and Anticoagulation Clinic (USA) and Summaries of Product Characteristics (SPC).

Results: 1. Serotonin plays a critical role in maintaining homeostasis. Use of SSRI/SNRI compromises its platelet reuptake increasing risk of bleeding. 2. Increased tolerability and safety of NOAC over Warfarin, although caution is advised when NOAC is used with SSRI/SNRI with less evidence suggesting pharmacodynamic interactions. 3. It is not recommended to use NOAC with strong CYP and P-gp inhibitors.

Conclusions: With limited literature evidence, caution is advised when co-prescribed NOACs with SSRI/SNRI, especially with other cofactors and interacting medicines further increasing risk of bleeding.

Open access
Uncommon psychopathological syndromes in psychiatry

Abstract

Introduction: The development of biological sciences, as well as cultural and civilizational changes have led to the emergence of practice within the medicine of science, called psychiatry. Already at the turn of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, Karl Jaspers - a German scholar - father of psychopathology - in the work “Allgemeine Psychopathologie” crystallized his intuitions in the field of psychopathology, which classifies and describes states that are deviations from the physiological mental state of a human being.

Material and method: his paper reviews available literature to approximate the symptoms of the most interesting psychopathological syndromes in psychiatry such as: Clerambault syndrome, Otheller syndrome, Cotard syndrome, Ekboma syndrome and Folie à deux.

Results: A multitude of psychopathological syndromes results from the wealth of survival of psychiatric patients. They represent the delusions of different contents that develop in a primitive way or as a consequence of other types of disorders. Psychopathological teams have been inspiring the poets and directors for centuries. The relationship between psychiatry and culture, film and literature undoubtedly testifies to its interdisciplinary nature.

Discussion: Despite the passage of time, the descriptions of these syndromes with a rich historical description, symptomatology and criteria have not lost their relevance and are still a clinical reality.

Open access
Comparison of selected clinical and personality variables in alcohol–dependent patients with or without a history of suicide attempts

Summary

Objective: The aim of the study was to determine differences in the range of socio-demographic variables, selected clinical variables, temperament and character traits, coping with stress strategies and the level of aggression in alcohol addicts with or without a history of suicide attempt(s).

Methods: The study involved 90 people addicted to alcohol, treated in inpatient alcohol dependence treatment program. In order to collect data on socio - demographic variables and selected clinical variables, a self-made questionnaire was used. The severity of alcohol dependence was verified using the MAST and SADD scales. Characteristics of temperament and character were examined with the TCI questionnaire. The BPAQ and COPE questionnaires were used to examine the level of aggression and styles of coping with stress.

Results:Out of 90 subjects with alcohol dependence syndrom, 20% had attempted suicide in the past. The respondents with a history of suicide attempts were statistically significantly younger, were characterized by a younger age of alcohol drinking initiation and the initiation of regular alcohol drinking, and a greater severity of alcohol dependence in the MAST and SADD scales. A significantly larger percentage of respondents who had attempted suicide inflicted self-injury in the past, used other psychoactive substances as well as hypnotics and sedatives. The subjects with a suicide attempt in the interview obtained statistically significantly higher scores in terms of the level of aggression, harm avoidance and self-directedness, and more often used the style of coping with stress based on avoidance and accepting the situation.

Conclusions: The obtained results correspond with data available in the literature and may provide a foundation for theoretical models explaining the phenomenon of suicidal behavior in alcohol addicts as well as for suicide prevention programs in this group of patients.

Open access
Obstetric complications in women with schizophrenia

Summary

Pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood are new situations for women and require adjustment. Women suffering from schizophrenia require special attention due to the course of the disease. Physiological changes that occur in the body during pregnancy may be unacceptable for women suffering from schizophrenia. They may delusively deny the existence of the pregnancy, lead an unhealthy lifestyle (stimulants, poor diet, lack of gynaecological check-ups), which in turn causes an increased risk of complications. In the research conducted so far, it has been proven that three kinds of complications are associated with schizophrenia: complications concerning pregnancy itself (bleeding, diabetes, Rh-incompatibility, pre-eclampsia), intrauterine growth restriction (low birth weight, congenital malformations, small head circumference) and complications regarding labour (uterine atony, asphyxia, emergency Caesarean section). The course of the labour itself in this specific group of patients has not yet been sufficiently examined. It has also been proven that perinatal complications are one of the factors determining an increased risk of schizophrenia.

Open access