What is psychosis?


Know the basics

What is psychosis?

Psychosis is a medical term used for an impaired or abnormal mental state with delusions or hallucinations. Delusions are false beliefs and hallucinations are things that are seen or heard but aren’t really there.

How common is psychosis?

Psychosis  is a key symptom of many mental illnesses including schizophrenia, depression, schizoaffective disorder and bipolar disorder. Therefore, psychosis is common in:

  • Most people with schizophrenia;
  • Some people with bipolar disorder (manic-depressive) or severe depression;
  • Some personality disorders.

You can minimize the chance of having hernias by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Know the symptoms

What are the symptoms of psychosis?

If having psychosis, you will lose contact with reality A disorganized thought pattern usually results in odd speech includes:

  • Jumping words, making no sense with word;
  • Thought blocking and rhyming;
  • Lack of insight.

Behavior is bizarre, odd, and unpredictable. People may say that they  hear voices telling them to do things ( auditory hallucinations). Others may see signs or images telling them to do something (visual hallucination)

There may be some signs or symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

Meet your doctor if you think you or your family member lose contact with reality. If you think that you or your family member will harm yourself or others, you should take he/she or to a mental hospital to avoid the worst consequences.

Know the causes

What causes psychosis?

The cause of psychosis is unknown. It is thought to result from a combination of social, genetic, environmental, psychological and physical factors.

Medicines, including those for Parkinson’s disease and seizures, steroids, and chemotherapy, and illicit drugs (e.g, LSD, cocaine, alcohol, amphetamines, marijuana, PCD) can also lead to a psychotic change.

Psychosis may also be one of the symptoms of many conditions such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, Parkinson’s disease, malaria, strokes, brain tumors, and seizure disorder…

Know the risk factors

What increases my risk for psychosis?

However, research has shown that genetics may play a role. If one identical twin develops psychosis, there is a 50 percent chance the other twin will as well. Individuals with a close family member (parent or sibling) who has a psychotic disorder are more likely to develop a psychotic disorder.

Children born with the genetic mutation known as 22q11 deletion syndrome are at risk for developing a psychotic disorder, especially schizophrenia.

Understand the diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is psychosis diagnosed?

Medicines called neuroleptics are used for treating people with bizarre, unpredictable behavior. The aim is to prevent people from hurting themselves or others. These medicines include haloperidol and drugs called benzodiazepines which are medicines for anxiety (e.g., lorazepam, alprazolam).

Treatment then depends on the underlying cause.

  • For a mental illness such as depression or schizophrenia, a psychiatrist (specialist in mental and emotional disorders) will be involved in treatment with antidepressant or antipsychotic medicines.
  • People with conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and seizure disorders will take medicines for those disorders.
  • For substance abuse (e.g., alcohol, narcotics), counseling is offered.

Cognitive behavioral therapy may help (CBT). Cognitive therapy teaches people how certain thinking patterns cause symptoms. Behavioral therapy breaks the connection between worry about symptoms and reactions to those symptoms.

How is psychosis treated?

If suspecting someone with psychosis, a doctor may make diagnosis from medical history, physical examinations, and a psychiatric evaluation. In this procedure, the doctor will watch the person’s behavior and ask questions about what he or she is.

In addition, the doctor will do tests to rule out other medical illness. These include blood tests and image study such as CT and MRI of the brain. A spinal tap may also be done to check for infection, cancer and other causes of psychosis.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage psychosis?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with psychosis :

  • You need a psychologist or psychiatrist to monitor long-term medical condition.
  • Call your doctor if you feel depressed or anxious.
  • Call your doctor if you hear voices or see things that aren’t really there.
  • Don’t do drugs. Alcohol, amphetamines, cocaine, sleeping agents, and antianxiety medicines can all cause psychosis.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

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