In detail

What is psychosis?

What is psychosis?

The psychosis It is an abnormal condition of thought that is characterized by an altered view of reality and a loss of contact with it. People who experience psychosis may have personality changes and thinking disorders. Depending on its severity, this may be accompanied by unusual or strange behavior, as well as difficulty with social interaction and deterioration in the performance of daily life activities. It is a symptom of serious mental disorders. People psychotics can have all kinds of hallucinations or delusions.


  • 1 What are hallucinations or delusions?
  • 2 What are the symptoms of psychosis?
  • 3 The causes of psychosis
  • 4 Risk factors of psychosis
  • 5 Types of psychosis
  • 6 Treatment of psychosis

What are hallucinations or delusions?

The hallucinations they are sensory experiences that appear in the absence of a real stimulus. For example, a person who has an auditory hallucination can hear their mother scream when she is not around. Or someone who has a visual hallucination can see something, like a person in front, but not really there.

Psychosis can also present thoughts that are contrary to reality. These thoughts are known as delusions. Some people with psychosis may also experience loss of motivation and social isolation.

These experiences can be truly scary. Sometimes, they can cause people who are going through a psychotic outbreak to harm themselves or others.

What are the symptoms of psychosis?

  • Difficult to focus
  • Depressed mood
  • Sleep too much or not enough
  • Anxiety
  • Suspicion
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorganized language, such as changing issues erratically
  • Depression
  • Thoughts or suicidal actions

The causes of psychosis

Each case of psychosis is different, and the exact cause is not always clear. There are, however, certain diseases that cause psychosis. There are also triggers such as drug use, lack of sleep, and other environmental factors. In addition, certain situations can lead certain people to develop psychosis.

Diseases that can cause psychosis include

  • Brain diseases such as Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease and some chromosomal disorders.
  • Brain tumors or cysts.

In addition, some types of dementia can cause psychosis, such as:

Risk factors of psychosis

Currently it is not possible to identify precisely who is prone to develop psychosis. However, research has shown that genetics can play an important role.

People are more likely to develop a psychotic disorder if they have a close family member, such as a father or brother who has a psychotic disorder.

Children born with the genetic mutation known as 22q11.2 deletion syndrome are at greater risk of developing a psychotic disorder, especially with schizophrenia.

Types of psychosis

Some types of psychosis are caused by specific conditions or circumstances that include the following:

Brief psychotic disorder

A brief psychotic disorder, sometimes called brief reactive psychosis, can occur during periods of extreme personal stress such as the death of a family member. A person experiencing brief reactive psychosis will usually recover within a few days or weeks, depending on the source of the stress.

Drug or alcohol psychosis

Psychosis can be caused by the use of alcohol and illegal drugs, including stimulants such as methamphetamine and cocaine. Hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD often cause consumers to see things that are not real, but this effect is temporary. Some prescription medications such as steroids and stimulants can also cause symptoms of psychosis.

People who are addicted to alcohol or certain drugs may experience psychotic symptoms if they suddenly stop drinking or taking the drug to which they are addicted.

Organic psychosis

They are psychosis due to organic brain causes. A head injury, a disease such as a tumor or an infection that affects the brain, can cause psychotic symptoms.

Mental disorders

Psychotic disorders may also appear due to certain mental illnesses. The following types of disorders can lead to psychotic symptoms:

  • Bipolar disorder: When someone suffers from this disorder, their mood ranges from very high to very low. When your mood is high and positive, you may have psychotic symptoms. You can feel very good and believe that you have special powers. When their mood is depressed, the individual may have psychotic symptoms that make them feel sad and frightened. These symptoms include thinking that someone is trying to harm them.
  • Delusional Disorder: A person experiencing Delusional Disorder strongly believes in things that are not real, such as someone chasing him, for example.
  • Psychotic Depression: It is a Major Depression with psychotic symptoms.
  • Schizophrenia: Schizophrenia is a disease that is usually accompanied by psychotic symptoms.

Psychosis Treatment

The treatment of psychosis may involve a combination of medications and psychotherapy. Most people will experience a great improvement in their symptoms with treatment.

Psychoactive drugs

The symptoms of psychosis can be controlled with medications called antipsychotics. These medications reduce hallucinations and delusions and help you think more clearly. The type of medication that is prescribed will depend on the symptoms.

In many cases, people only need to take antipsychotics for a short period of time to have their symptoms under control. People with schizophrenia may have to remain under drug treatment throughout their lives.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

This approach has proven effective in helping people make permanent changes and manage their disease more effectively. It is often more useful for psychotic symptoms that are not completely resolved with medications.

Psychosis does not present too many medical or organic complications. However, if left untreated, it can be a challenge for people experiencing psychosis to achieve proper care of themselves. That could cause other diseases that also require treatment.

Most people who experience psychosis recover with the right treatment. Even in severe cases, medication and therapy can be of great help.