A dynamical systems approach to the treatment of psychosis Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/bg257k06k

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  • The purpose of this paper is to explore the potential value of using a computer simulated systems dynamics model to address psychosis in mental illness. Psychosis is defined as a syndrome which is associated with many mental disorders, not a specific disorder itself. Psychosis generally produces delusions and hallucinations and gross distortions of reality testing. Defining a plan for working with individuals who manifest this condition is the goal of this paper. Three components are cited as necessary for effective treatment of this syndrome: psychosocial education, psychotherapy, and concomitant pharmacotherapy. A computer model was developed to address the efficacy of combining these three interventions in a timely and cost effective manner. The model was developed using a program that allows for complexity and feedback interactions (STELLA, 2000). The final graph shows nonlinear behavior as the variables interact with each other over time. The results help with visualizing the effects of the three system components, and how that interchange . is affected by changes to the system, such as discontinuance of medication after a threshold level is established. The resulting model is a theoretical model based on both statistical and empirical data. The model can be further developed by following an individual in a 10 year case study, collecting data to enter into the model. This would give valuable information about an individual's therapeutic course, and a base model to use in developing more complex models that can address a wider variety of symptoms. The model can be an effective visual aid for clinicians to use in defining an individual's unique dynamics.
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