Psychosis is characterized by an impaired relationship with reality. It’s a symptom of serious mental disorder. People who are experiencing psychosis may have hallucinations and delusions. Hallucinations are sensory experiences that occur within the absence of an actual stimulus. A person having an auditory hallucination may hear their mother yelling at them when their mother isn’t around. Or someone having a visual hallucination may see something, like a person in front of them, who isn’t actually there. The person experiencing psychosis may also have thoughts that are contrary to actual evidence. These thoughts are known as delusions. Some people with psychosis may also experience loss of motivation and social withdrawal. Some of the symptoms of psychosis include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Depressed mood
  • Sleeping too much or not enough
  • Anxiety
  • Suspiciousness
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Disorganized speech, such as switching topics erratically
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions

Each case of psychosis is different, and the exact cause isn’t always clear. There are certain illnesses that cause psychosis, however. There are also triggers like drug use, lack of sleep, and other environmental factors. In addition, certain situations can lead to specific types of psychosis developing. People are more likely to develop a psychotic disorder if they have a close family member, such as a parent or sibling, who has a psychotic disorder. Some kinds of psychosis are brought on by specific conditions or circumstances that include the following:

  • Brief psychotic disorder
  • Drug- or alcohol-related psychosis
  • Organic psychosis
  • Psychotic disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Delusional disorder
  • Psychotic depression
  • Schizophrenia

Psychosis is diagnosed through a psychiatric evaluation. That means a doctor will watch the person’s behavior and ask questions about what they’re experiencing. Medical tests and X-rays may be used to determine whether there is an underlying illness causing the symptoms. Treating psychosis may involve a combination of medications and therapy. Most people will experience an improvement in their symptoms with treatment. Some of the treatments are:

  • Rapid tranquilization
  • Medication
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy

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