25TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE

WHEN HEARING VOICES DOESN’T CONSTITUTE PSYCHOSIS: DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS FOR PSYCHOTIC-LIKE SYMPTOMS IN YOUTH

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Although hallucinations are often part of primary psychotic disorders, they can also be found associated with a number of other psychiatric and non-psychiatric conditions. This may contribute to diagnostic errors and lead to inadequate care and treatment management. Automatically equating all perceptual disturbances with psychosis can lead to significant misdiagnosis and inappropriate medical and mental health treatment. Practitioners often feel ill-equipped to assess a patient’s psychotic-like symptoms, and patients may not report their psychotic-like experiences without being asked. Increasing practitioner awareness of assessment and differential diagnosis of psychotic-like symptoms is imperative for accurate diagnosis and effective treatment of patients. The following presentation will focus on types of psychotic symptoms children and adolescents may experience, including a discussion of the normal continuum of psychotic-like experiences in youth. The presentation will review differential diagnoses, including the relationship of psychosis to trauma. The presentation will conclude with a review of child and adolescent assessment measures that can be used to clarify symptoms or possible psychosis.

Once you have attended this session, you will be able to:

1) Explain the interrelationships between trauma, dissociation and psychosis and explore the prevalence and patterns of auditory hallucinations in youth; and,
2) Discuss differential diagnostic tools for psychotic-like symptoms and the tools to assess possible hallucinations in youth.

*Submission of the conference evaluation form indicates your completion of the entire program.

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