Tardive Psychosis

Tardive Psychosis is a (still) not widely accepted form of psychosis, proposed in 1978 by Guy Chouinard, professor of psychiatrie at the University of Montréal [1].

Tardive Psychosis (tardive means 'late in appearing') was defined as a condition caused by long term use of widely prescribed dopaminergic antipsychotics, noticeable when the medication had become decreasingly effective, requiring higher doses, or when not responding to higher doses. These antipsychotics deplete the levels of dopamine in the brain, which is related to the known side effect caused by their long-term use. This might lead to a worsening of psychosis beyond the original level.
[Vincent van Gogh: Starry Night]

Tardive Psychosis should be understood as drug-induced brain damage that leads to a global decline in brain function. The motor dysfunction is often accompanied by an increase in psychotic symptoms, a decline in cognitive function, and an increased risk of early death[2].

So, you are prescribed medication for your mental problems. The medications, over time, have devastating effects and will lead to symptoms that are worse than the original ones. Then you need wean off that medication and will have to use new medication with still unknown side effects.

Evaluation suggests that tardive psychosis as a whole is a possibly combination of 'several different and not necessarily correlated phenomena related to neuroleptic treatment of schizophrenia'.

[1] Chouinard et al: Neuroleptic-induced supersensitivity psychosis in American Journal of Psychiatry - 1978
[2] Robert Whitaker: A Short History of Tardive Dyskinesia: 65 Years of Drug-Induced Brain Damage That Rolls On and On in Mad in America - 2020. See here.

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