Presenile Psychoses

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Presenile Psychoses


a group of mental diseases arising during the fifth and sixth decades of life. Their cause is unknown. The psychoses are usually preceded by mental trauma or somatic illness and are most common in women during the climacteric and menopause.

Many psychiatrists do not view presenile psychoses as independent diseases but as manifestations of such mental diseases as schizophrenia, manic-depressive psychosis, and vascular psychoses. The principal presenile psychoses are involutional melancholia and involutional paranoid state, which is characterized by delusion formation.

Involutional melancholia is marked by depression, anxiety, and guilt; its course is prolonged and its outcome is an unchanging mood of anxiety and depression. Involutional paranoid state is manifested by suspicion and by trivial, everyday delusions of persecution, jealousy, and poisoning. These delusional ideas are directed at those closest to the patient, such as neighbors and relatives. Also characteristic are delusions expressed in self-defense and denunciation. Presenile psychoses are treated by means of psychotropic agents.


Zhislin, S. G. Ocherki klinicheskoi psikhiatrii. Moscow, 1965. Page 181.
Weitbrecht, H. Psychiatrie im Grundriss. Berlin, 1963.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.