First Episode Psychosis during COVID-19 Pandemic: A Case Series

Oloniniyi, I, Ibigbami O, Amiola A, Esan O, Esan O.  2021.  First Episode Psychosis during COVID-19 Pandemic: A Case Series, 2021/06/26. 38:599-603.


Introduction:Neuropsychiatric events are often associated with viral pandemics. The unexpected turn of events the world over since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic may serve as stressors which can trigger or worsen mental disorders particularly psychosis. There is little or no reports about acute psychosis on the background of this current global pandemic particularly in the African context. The aim of this article describes a case series of acute schizophrenia-like disorder with COVID-19 related psychotic themes in the context of the current pandemic.
Materials and methods:
We present a case series of 2 patients with first episode psychotic illnesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both patients presented at the mental health outpatient clinic of the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.
Two patients with no previous history of mental illness presented with COVID-19 delusional themes and odd behaviours. Mental state examination revealed abnormalities in behaviour, thought system, perception and cognition. ICD10 diagnosis of Acute and Transient Psychotic disorder was made in both patients. There were no abnormal physical health findings and symptoms resolved with the use of antipsychotics.
Information on the COVID-19 pandemic may influence the content of psychotic experiences among the general population. A high index of suspicion and acute services are important to ensure prompt intervention and promotion of community mental health. Clinicians need to be well informed to be able to identify what deviates from the norm, and to be able to provide prompt intervention.