Psychogenic Polydipsia: Definition, Treatment And Risks

Psychogenic Polydipsia: Definition, Treatment And Risks

Psychogenic polydipsia is a psychological disorder characterised by the permanent and irrepressible need to drink water. Read below to learn more. 

Everything You Need To Know About Psychogenic Polydipsia

1. What it is: Sufferers may drink up to 10 litres of water a day, while the average is 1.5 litres. Whilst it is  recommended to drink water regularly, such overhydration can have serious adverse effects on the body such as swelling in the brain, for example.

2. Symptoms: In addition to high water consumption, polydipsia is accompanied by polyuria. That is to say, a frequent and large quantity of urine (more than three liters per day). The behaviour of people with this condition is generally very discreet and usually goes unnoticed.

3. Causes: Polydipsia can have many different causes which can include: diabetes, psychosis or infant necrosis, disturbance of the brain centres of thirst, schizophrenia and dementia, olygophrenia, mental retardation, neurological disorders, and psychoanalytic disorders. 

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4. Risks: The consequences of polydipsia can be very serious. Beyond ten litres a day, the body can not absorb all the water taken. This means that the cells are overhydrated and causes a drop in the level of salt in the blood. This phenomenon results in the appearance of edema in the brain. In the worst cases,  this excessive overconsumption of water can be fatal.

5. Treatments: The best treatment for psychogenic polydipsia is that the patient goes through psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. Progressive approach treatment can be implemented. This involves progressively decreasing the water consumption of the person affected by giving objectives to be respected.

Will Armstrong
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