Acute psychological stress-induced water intoxication

Sagarika Mukherjee, Emmanuel S. Antonarakis, S. Asaduzzaman, John R. Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Excessive water drinking is a recognised feature of schizophrenia. We present here a case of excessive water drinking precipitated by acute psychological stress. A 52-year-old woman, with no previous mental health problems, was found in a state of altered consciousness and was profoundly hyponatraemic. She had consumed excess amount of water due to severe mental stress. She was treated with hypertonic saline followed by fluid restrictions. The water intoxication had caused brain damage which led to behavioural changes and impaired cognition. We describe the pathophysiology of water intoxication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)142-144
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2005


  • Hyponatraemia
  • Psychosis
  • Stress
  • Water intoxication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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