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January 1974

Psychosis, Polydipsia, and Water Intoxication: Report of a Fatal Case

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1974;30(1):112-114. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1974.01760070090014

In the absence of complicating medical illness, psychogenic polydipsia has been regarded as a fairly benign process. This paper reports on a case of rapidly fatal water intoxication secondary to psychogenic polydipsia in a psychotic woman.

A review of the literature revealed a strong association between psychosis and water intoxication in compulsive water drinkers. The possible role of neuroendocrine changes in psychosis is discussed and the danger of thiazide diuretics in psychogenic polydipsia is emphasized.