Steroid Psychosis, History of Corticosteroid Use and Associated Side Effects: Implications for Rehabilitation Counselors
Master of Science
Department or Program
Rehabilitation Administration and Services
Dr. Thomas Upton
Throughout the medical community, corticosteroid medications are widely used for the treatment of ailments ranging from inflammatory disorders such as arthritic conditions and spinal cord injuries, to skin conditions such eczema and psoriasis. Additional conditions could also include such disorders as inflammatory bowel disease. Also associated with corticosteroid treatments is the anabolic steroid family. These types of steroids are most commonly used for the enhancement of human tissues such as muscle growth associated with athletes referred to as performance enhancing drugs. Additionally, the use of diuretics, predominately in women, have a base of some type of steroid. For the users of corticosteroids and anabolic steroids, there is the danger of an associated condition known as neuropsychiatric psychosis, or steroid psychosis.
Although in most cases, the cessation of the steroid use or even tapering the use can reverse the condition. There is approximately 7% to 10% of cases that the psychosis becomes a permanent condition. In many cases the psychosis goes un-diagnosed due to the mimicking of various mental illnesses such as bi-polar disorder, mood disorders, and even schizophrenia. The need for careful monitoring of the administration of these medications as well as tracking of medical.
History while treating suspected mental illness are imperative to early identification of steroid psychosis as well as the rapid and effective treatment of said condition. The purpose of this paper is to raise awareness with rehabilitation counselors that due to treatment of some clients with steroid medications could be the cause of symptoms similar to those conditions previously mentioned. The steroid condition can be reduced or eliminated through medication management which very well may reduce the time needed for treatment. The implications for rehabilitation counselors could be the shortened treatment time, adjustments to the treatment plan as well as identifying the condition to the clients so the client will have a clearer understanding of their condition. An additional implication for the counselor will that it is prudent to always review all available medical history information for each client to be aware of all medications or medical procedures that may have been conducted in the client’s history.