There are many definitions for psychosis, however, one of the easiest ways of describing psychosis is to see it as a state in which the person losses touch with reality or a state in which the boundaries between reality and imagination are blurred. The most well known type of psychosis is schizophrenia and it is described as a condition that affects thinking, feeling and behaviour and causes people to have abnormal experiences. Schizophrenia is not very rare as it affects 1 in every 100 people during their lifetime.
Symptoms of schizophrenia can be grouped in two categories; positive symptoms and negative symptoms. Positive symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, abnormal though processing and thought alienation. Hallucination is when people hear, see, smell or feel things that are not real and not perceived by others. The most common form of hallucination is auditory hallucinations (when people hear things that are not real). Delusions are described as false fixed beliefs that the person is utterly convinced is true but his views are not shared with other people. There are different types of delusion and the most common is paranoid delusion. Thought alienation is when the person believes that other people control his thoughts, steal his thoughts or insert thought into his head. Positive symptoms feel very real to the person experiencing them. This can cause a great deal of distress to the person experiencing them, his family or people around him. Negative symptoms can present in the form of social isolation, lack of interest, loss of energy, loss of emotions or self-neglect. Usually people who suffer with schizophrenia present with a mixture of positive and negative symptoms.
The process of diagnosing someone with a psychotic illness or schizophrenia should by taken seriously. Nevertheless, it is quite straightforward for a well-trained psychiatrist to diagnose someone with a psychotic illness if this person is suffering with clear-cut positive symptoms. While it can be quite challenging to diagnose someone in the early stage of a psychotic illness. This is because the prodromal stage of psychosis (period preceding psychosis) and early stage of psychosis is similar to prodromal stages of other mental illness such as depression. Similar to other mental illness the treatment of psychotic illness or schizophrenia consists of both medication and talking therapies. In addition social support is almost always needed to facilitate recovery and help the patient to live an independent life as much as possible.
Dr Abdelghani worked as a consultant psychiatrist in one of the four Early Intervention teams for psychosis in South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. He did this job for almost for a year. Directly before accepting this post he was working in OASIS (Outreach And Support In South London) team. OASIS is one of the pioneer teams in the world that work on detecting early signs of psychosis in people who might develop a psychotic illness in the future. Working in OASIS equipped Dr Abdelghani with unique skills in detecting early signs of psychosis and differentiating them from other mental illness that might present in a similar way during early stages of the illness. While working in the Early Intervention Team in Croydon equipped him with excellent skills in diagnosing and managing the treatment of people who suffer with psychosis. Besides his time in these two highly specialised teams Dr Abdelghani also worked in teams that manage people who suffer from psychosis in different clinical settings such as outpatient, inpatient, inner city London and rural areas. Dr Abdelghani believes that medication plays a vital role in the management of psychotic illness at the same time he believes that to achieve the best recovery results this needs to be combined with other forms of therapy and support. This is why he works with colleagues from other disciplines, such as psychologists, to deliver a comprehensive & holistic management plan to his patients who suffer from psychosis.