Overview of the Psychosis Program

About 4% of the world’s adult population suffers from a condition where psychosis is a major problem. Sometimes psychosis may be from medical or neurologic problems, or may arise from problems with drugs and alcohol. Sometime psychosis is part of psychiatric disorders which might include conditions like schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder with psychosis. The Psychosis Treatment Program specializes in helping patients (and their families) who have diagnoses where psychosis is a significant problem. Rajiv P. Sharma M.D. is the Director of the Psychosis Treatment Program.

Some of the services provided include:

Initial diagnostic evaluation and treatment planning
We provide expertise in diagnostic assessment and recommendations for future treatment planning. Our belief is that overall treatment planning involves not just the patient but all of those whose lives are affected by the condition. Also, we endorse a recovery-oriented approach where, as much as possible, we involve person’s own personal goals as being an essential part of the treatment planning process.

Individual, Family and Group therapy sessions are all available in the Psychosis Treatment Program. We offer conventional therapies in addition to specialize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for psychosis.

Expertise in the pharmacologic treatment of psychotic disorders
While medications alone are usually not sufficient by themselves to help someone recover from persistent psychosis, medications are usually an essential part of the overall treatment program. We endeavor to provide state-of-the-art pharmacologic treatment, with medication selection designed to control symptoms as much as possible with as little side effect burden as possible. We have expertise in clozapine, a medication that can be uniquely effective for persistent symptoms when all other medications fail. We also offer long-acting antipsychotic medications given by injection, which can be very helpful for patients who have frequent relapses of their condition.

Involvement of family and other supports in treatment planning
We believe in communicating with family members who often support the person in his or her recovery treatment plan. As part of the initial evaluation, we review lines of communication and endeavor to respect the person's confidentiality while at the same time working with the family formulate the best treatment plan possible.

Continuity of care between acute inpatient hospitalization and outpatient treatment
While we try to avoid hospitalization as much as possible, sometimes hospitalization is necessary. We have found that communication between inpatient and outpatient services is a very important part of comprehensive treatment planning. Our physicians all have inpatient and outpatient responsibilities which greatly enhances continuity of care for patients who received both inpatient and outpatient treatment at our program.

Specialty clinical and research programs
We offer specialty clinical and research programs which are described in greater detail on other parts of this web site. The Psychosis Treatment Programs clinical research program are examining epigenetic gene regulation; the phenomenology of auditory verbal hallucinations, and clinical trials of new or recently approved antipsychotic medications.

The Psychosis treatment program provides a Consultative Specialty Service for patients, family members or treating clinicians who would like a second opinion.We also have a program that focuses on the needs of persons who have recently started treatment for psychosis. Additionally, we have a program for patients with persistent symptoms of psychosis which sometimes can be helped with a medication known as clozapine. The Psychosis Treatment Program has a Metabolic Monitoring Clinic at NPI that is staffed with a Physician from Internal Medicine to provide medical care and monitor your weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol. Appointments can be scheduled on the same day as your appointment with your psychiatrist.

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