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Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: Psychosis


 nimbeh - Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:44 am

I posted a thread about borderline. Now I would like some info on psychotic behavior. Could myself as a layman confuse psychotic episodes with something like bipolar or borderline? Can you give me specific example of a persons behavior that is psychotic? Are most serial killers psychotic and do they usually have things in common with their past like abuse and things that might make them act that way? Is a psychosis genetic and/or what causes this?
 jrlpc - Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:01 pm

welcome back,

I'll try to answer this in a way that makes sense to you. I hope you can understand this, but if not, feel free to reply and i'll try to break it down further.

Bipolar disorder is actually classified as a mood disorder while things like Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective Disorder are considered psychotic disorders. I'll try to break both down as much as possible for you.

Psychotic disorders are those that are classified by having the following symptoms: delusions, prominent hallucinations, disorganized speech, or disorganized catatonic behavior. Usually, a person has to have at least two of the above symptoms for almost a month in order to be diagnosed with some form of psychotic disorder. There are more requirements in order to be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder, but that is the main part.

There are two different types of Bipolar Disorder. Bipolar I and Bipolar II. Bipolar I disorder is diagnosed when a person is more manic (up) than depressed (down). Bipolar II, is the opposite. The person is usually more depressive than manic. Neither Bipolar I or Bipolar II have the delusions/hallucinations though.

Now that I've explained those, I have to say that psychotic disorders and mood disorders are pretty different to each other. People with Bipolar disorder do not have the delusions, disorganized speech, catatonic behavior or hallucinations that people with psychotic disorders have.

As for your question about whether or not serial killers are psychotic or not. It is hard to say. There have been serial killers that were Schizophrenic like David Berkowitz (Son of Sam) & Ted Kacyznski. However, there are other serial killers that aren't Schizophrenic but do have other psychotic disorders and although I can't think of any particular people off the top of my head, I'm sure there are some without any sort of psychotic disorder. The FBI and other government agencies do have certain profiles that most serial killers tend to fit such as wetting the bed when a child, setting fires and abusing animals. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that someone that does either or all of those things is definitely going to be a serial killer when they grow up. It also doesn't mean that people who grew up as a "perfect" child aren't going to be a serial killer. Different things in life make people act differently.

As for the genetic part: There have been studies done that show that if a person has a parent with Schizophrenia their risk of being diagnosed with Schizophrenia is 10 times greater than that of the general population. Also, they may have an increased risk of other mental disorders, but that is still being researched.

There are also psychotic disorders caused by medical conditions and substance-induced psychotic disorders that can be caused by abusing a drug, toxin exposure, or medications.

Because I am a therapist, curiosity is definitely getting to me in regards to some of your questions; I definitely have to say that if you think you are struggling with any of this, please get help from a therapist or doctor.

I hope some of this helps. Please let us know if there's anything else you need.
 nimbeh - Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:45 pm

Because you are a therapist you think too much! No, it's not about me. I'm trying to figure out something that goes on with someone I'm VERY close to. And NO they have no killing tendencies other than threats towards me. Are bipolar or borderline people prone to physical attacks towards someone they are very close to? Why or why not? I'd like to continue this dialogue for a while until my questions have been answered if you don't mind. It would be best if it could be more private like through email. Do you have and email you wouldn't mind posting?
 jrlpc - Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:01 am

Hi nimbeh,

I'm on my way out the door to go to work, but I just wanted you to know that I have read your message and will reply shortly. It might not be until tonight or early tomorrow morning, but I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Also, I'm setting up a work related email address today so that should be ready by this weekend.

Take care,
 jrlpc - Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:05 pm

Nimbeh,

Of course I think too much, that's why I love this field so much! :)

It is possible for a person with Bipolar disorder to become hostile and/or physically threatening to others. A person with psychotic features on top of the mania may also become physically assaultive or suicidal as well.

Borderline is a personality disorder and can sometimes accompany Bipolar as a diagnosis as well as some of the other personality disorders can such as: Paranoid, Schizoid, Shizotypal, Antisocial, Histrionic, Narcissistic, Avoidant, Dependent, & Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder. There are several Criteria a person must meet in order to be diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and anger/difficulty controlling anger is one of them.

So, in order to answer your question, yes...with both or either of the diagnoses a person can become assaultive towards someone else. I hope this helps some, let me know if there's anything else you would like to discuss!

I STRONGLY suggest getting this person to help immediately as it seems like there are some serious issues that need help. As always, if your safety is of ANY concern, call 911 immediately.

Have a great evening,
 jrlpc - Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:18 pm

Nimbeh,

After re-reading the post to you I posted earlier, some of the things I posted are pretty misleading. People with bipolar disorder can indeed have the delusions and psychotic symptoms. In attempts to clarify for you I think I over simplified things by saying they didn't have the psychotic symptoms at all. People with bipolar disorder can indeed have psychotic symptoms such as delusions and/or hallucinations. I am sorry for the misinformation. I'll try to preview my posts more carefully from now on.

have a great day,
 nimbeh - Mon Jan 29, 2007 7:34 pm

jrlpc wrote:Nimbeh,

After re-reading the post to you I posted earlier, some of the things I posted are pretty misleading. People with bipolar disorder can indeed have the delusions and psychotic symptoms. In attempts to clarify for you I think I over simplified things by saying they didn't have the psychotic symptoms at all. People with bipolar disorder can indeed have psychotic symptoms such as delusions and/or hallucinations. I am sorry for the misinformation. I'll try to preview my posts more carefully from now on.

have a great day,
did you get my email?
 jrlpc - Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:47 pm

Hi Nimbeh,

Yes, I got your email but I can't reply as of this moment because the gmail server is down. It might be tomorrow afternoon before I get a chance to reply. I have a few things I have to research tonight, but I promise I will reply as soon as possible.

Thanks,
 nimbeh - Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:51 pm

jrlpc wrote:Hi Nimbeh,

Yes, I got your email but I can't reply as of this moment because the gmail server is down. It might be tomorrow afternoon before I get a chance to reply. I have a few things I have to research tonight, but I promise I will reply as soon as possible.

Thanks,
Are there different servers? My Gmail works fine. I'm just curious because I've been interested in how the internet works. thanks. bye!
 nimbeh - Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:11 pm

jrlpc wrote:Nimbeh,

After re-reading the post to you I posted earlier, some of the things I posted are pretty misleading. People with bipolar disorder can indeed have the delusions and psychotic symptoms. In attempts to clarify for you I think I over simplified things by saying they didn't have the psychotic symptoms at all. People with bipolar disorder can indeed have psychotic symptoms such as delusions and/or hallucinations. I am sorry for the misinformation. I'll try to preview my posts more carefully from now on.

have a great day,
Never mind. Mine is down now. I had logged onto this site through my Gmail.

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