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Psychosomatic Medicine:
Case Report

Behavioral and Medical Treatment of Chronic Polydipsia in a Patient With Schizophrenia and Diabetes Insipidus

Costanzo, Erin S. MA; Antes, Lisa M. MD; Christensen, Alan J. PhD

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Abstract

Objective: This case report describes a novel outpatient behavioral treatment intervention for chronic polydipsia. The program was used in an effort to reduce excessive fluid intake in a woman with chronic paranoid-type schizophrenia who also had a diagnosis of diabetes insipidus.

Methods: The 12-session individual behavioral intervention incorporated self-monitoring, stimulus control, coping skills training, and reinforcement components.

Results: The patient engaged fully in the treatment program, and she successfully restricted her fluid intake. Her diabetes insipidus could therefore be treated with desmopressin, a medication that requires fluid restriction, and she experienced a concomitant reduction in polyuria and urinary incontinence.

Conclusions: The outpatient behavioral intervention demonstrated promising outcomes in a chronically mentally ill patient whose polydipsia had underlying psychogenic and physiological components. This case highlights the efficacy of combining behavioral and medical interventions.

Copyright © 2004 by American Psychosomatic Society

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