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What Is Shared Psychotic Disorder? Is This The Reason For Burari Deaths?

As days go by, the Delhi Burari death case becomes murkier and mysterious. The 11 members of the Bhatia family were found hanging at their house in Burari, North Delhi.

Recent police investigation has indicated that the entire members of the household committed mass suicide due to 'shared pychotic disorder'. In this article, you will come to know what is shared psychotic disorder.

Shared Psychotic Disorder?

What Is Shared Psychotic Disorder?

A shared psychotic disorder is a type of rare illness which takes place when a healthy person starts to get delusions of someone with whom he/she shares a closer bond.

For example, if a family member has a psychotic disorder, as a part of the illness, he believes in something which is imaginary and implausible. But, his/her thoughts and behaviour are normal. People who suffer from psychotic disorder have trouble staying in touch with the real world and they can't deal with day-to-day activities.

What Are The Symptoms Of Shared Psychotic Disorder?

The most common symptoms are hallucinations and delusions. Delusion is more common and it can be of any kind. Hallucinations include hearing, seeing or feeling things which do not exist.

These signs of the disorder start affecting their interactions with others and disrupt their own social life.

What Are The Risk Factors of Shared Psychotic Disorder?

Shared psychotic disorders most often happen only in long-term relationships in which the person with psychotic disorder is dominant and the other is passive. These two people tend to have a close emotional connect with each other.

This disorder can also happen in groups of people who are closely involved with the person who is suffering with psychotic disorder. For example, this could happen in a cult if the leader is a psychotic and his/her followers take on their delusions.

Experts don't really know what causes this but they believe that stress and social isolation plays a major role in its development.

The risk factors cover these following things:

  • Biological factors which involve neurobiochemical changes in dopamine in the brain.
  • Genetics which involves the families who have schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders.
  • Psychological factors.
  • Stress due to death of someone or maybe constant stress in life. 
  • Drug abuse may also contribute to the risk factor of this disorder.


Does Suicide Have A Link With This Disorder?

Suicide pacts in a family are often made as a part of shared delusions, which means a pact between two or more parties who give up their lives so that no one suffers afterwards.

Diagnosis Of Shared Psychotic Disorder

If someone has a shared psychotic disorder, they will answer questions about their physical and psychiatric history. Doctors may use tools such as brain imaging and blood tests to rule out the other causes.

If the doctor doesn't find any physical reason, he or she might send the person to a psychiatrist or a psychologist. These mental experts will talk to the person, observe their behaviour and listen to their symptoms.

Treatment Of Shared Psychotic Disorder

Though shared psychotic disorders are rare, there are no effective treatments.

1. Psychotherapy - This type of counselling can help someone recognize delusions and get back to the real world. This type of therapy also aims to ease emotional distress from the condition .

2. Family Therapy - It involves the family of the person who has shared psychotic disorder. His or her family members can boost the person's activities and interests, develop social ties, etc.

3. Medications - If the symptoms continue, the person needs to take antipsychotic medicines for a short time. 

If Not Treated What Can Happen

Shared psychotic disorders can become an ongoing problem. But with proper treatments he may have a good chance of recovery.

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