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The old concept of psychogenic psychosis revisited from a transcultural approach: A case series

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 March 2020

R. Puente-García
Affiliation:
Hospital Universitario del Henares, Psychiatry, Coslada Madrid, Spain
S. García-Jorge
Affiliation:
Hospital Universitario del Henares, Psychiatry, Coslada Madrid, Spain
M. Benítez-Alonso
Affiliation:
Hospital Universitario del Henares, Psychiatry, Coslada Madrid, Spain
H. Dolengevich-Segal
Affiliation:
Hospital Universitario del Henares, Psychiatry, Coslada Madrid, Spain
J. Correas-Lauffer
Affiliation:
Hospital Universitario del Henares, Psychiatry, Coslada Madrid, Spain
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Abstract

Introduction

The concept of psychogenic psychosis was introduced by Wimmer in 1916 and subsequently extended by Strömgren in the mid twentieth century. It typically describes a polymorphic psychotic episode of abrupt onset and which follows a trauma or stressful life situation. The duration of the episode is usually brief and remission occurs ad integrum. In recent decades, the notion has fallen into disuse in clinical psychiatry and international classifications. This could be due to a general improvement in living conditions, with less exposure to traumatic situations.

Objective

We intend to study the characteristics of psychogenic psychosis in immigrants. We believe that the condition could be observed better in this population, given their greater vulnerability to trauma. For this purpose, we chose a sample of Romanian patients, who nevertheless have considerable cultural affinity with the Spanish population.

Methods

We collected the clinical and biographical data of four cases of psychogenic psychosis admitted to our clinic between 2012 and 2015.

Results

Four Romanian women aged 25 to 42 were diagnosed with psychogenic psychosis in this period. Mean length of hospitalization was 5, 0 days. All patients reported familiar or occupational stress prior to the onset of symptoms. Psychotic symptoms remitted quickly with low doses of medication, despite being initially intense.

Conclusions

Reported cases fit remarkably well with the original description of Wimmer. The concept of psychogenic psychosis, along with similar brief psychotic entities, could be useful in describing the psychopathology derived from new social models and crises.

Disclosure of interest

The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.

Type
EV455
Copyright
Copyright © European Psychiatric Association 2016

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