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Ocassional Delusions

Question:

A few strange things have been going on in my head recently: occaisonal delusions, hallucinations, lack of motivation, easy distraction, lack of focus, and a few other things that have been going on longer but seem less severe (insomnia, fear of social situations). They do not occur continuously, and there are occaisionally long gaps between them. However, I have read some things on mental health recently, and it made me think: How can you tell when something is a serious mental illness, or when it is simply a relatively natural occurance with no real significance?

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Answer:

You make the determination as to whether a described condition is serious based on the type and severity of symptoms that are reported, and how much such symptoms appear to be causing a problem for the afflicted individual. You consider this information in the context of that person’s health status, normal habits and family history.

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p> Some symptoms you are reporting (insomnia) occur with great frequency and do not necessarily suggest that anything might be seriously wrong. Other symptoms on your list are however, fairly uncommon (hallucinations, delusions) and usually only occur when someone is seriously ill (e.g., schizophrenia or related illnesses), abusing drugs or in a medical crisis. The presence of these symptoms alone suggest that a real problem may exist. It would be a very good idea for someone experiencing these types of symptoms to seek out an appointment with a psychiatrist for proper diagnosis, and if appropriate, treatment. The use of drugs can complicate an underlying illness, or in some cases can create these types of symptoms all by themselves. Ceasing use of all non-prescribed drugs would generally be a good idea under the circumstances

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