Psychological Mechanism of Psychosis

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Indonesia – Psychotic disorder is a disabling psychiatric disorder listed as the 8th leading cause of life led with disability (DALY) for people between the age of 15 and 44 according to the World Health Report by WHO in 2001. It is suffered by 0.5 – 2% population. Some of the most common symptoms in Indonesia include hearing voices and paranoia, e.g. thinking that agents such as State Intelligence Agency (BIN) are hunting them down.

This year Dr. Edo S. Jaya, a lecturer from Psychosis Studies Research Group, Faculty of Psychology, Universitas Indonesia, found longitudinal evidence on the psychological mechanism of the development of psychotic symptoms. The study was the result of a joined effort with his colleagues, Dr. Leonie Ascone and Prof. Dr. Tania M. Lincoln, at the Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Universität Hamburg, Germany. This study is published in a prestigious Q1 journal, Psychological Medicine (impact factor = 5.23, 2016), which ranked 13th out of 497 journals in psychiatry, ranked fourth out of 194 in applied psychology according to SCIMAGOJR.

Their team found longitudinal evidence that negative-self-concept leads to negative affect such as depression and anxiety, and if it continues for a period of 8-12 months, it could increase the symptoms of psychosis. This has been theorized for quite some time. However, the study is the first to demonstrate that the mechanism may be universal as they draw their evidence from a cross-national sample with individuals from Indonesia, Germany, and the United States.

The results provide a building block on the construction of a unified theory of psychological development of psychosis. It allows stakeholders to improve their service effectiveness for patients. Mental hospital adjusts treatment for psychotic patients by involving psychologists who use the results to adjust their therapy while handling psychotic patients.

The government can assign psychotic counseling for more targeted people such as urban poor community. With this finding, it is the time to adopt environment factor as one of significant causes of psychotic. Ultimately, a universal theory may lead to a universal psychological therapy and thus, support the current WHO initiative in closing the mental health gap between high-income countries and low-and-middle-income countries.