Neuropsychiatric disorders and dementia occasionally mimic psychiatric symptoms such as neurotic states, behavioural and mood changes and visual hallucinations.

Patients with neuropsychiatric disorders commonly complain of subjective work difficulties, forgetting the location of objects, decreased functioning in demanding employment settings, and difficulty in travelling to new locations in the early stage of their illness. As soon as you experience changes in your normal behaviour, you should seek help to prevent the progression of the illness.

Neuropsychiatric symptoms may mimic psychosis

Neuropsychiatric disorders may mimic endogenous psychosis of which visual hallucinations are the most common symptom. Moreover, a mild behavioural change in the absence of cognitive impairment may constitute a dementia prodrome.

Neuropsychiatric symptoms may fluctuate and complicate caring for patients. Enhancing understanding and management of neuropsychiatric symptoms is a major priority in caring for people with dementia.

Mental illnesses can progress so it is always safe to have regular check-ups if you are living with a disorder. Dr Michelle Vlok-Barnard is specially trained in psychiatry and is experienced in treating neuropsychiatric symptoms.