What is Psychosis?
Psychosis is a mental health problem that causes people to perceive or interpret things differently from those around them. This might involve hallucinations or delusions.
What are The Common Causes?
- mental illnesses (e.g. schizophrenia)
- medical illnesses (e.g. epilepsy)
- substances such as alcohol or drugs
What are the Symptoms and Signs?
- Symptoms are abnormal experiences—perceptions, thoughts, or feelings that are difficult to express or for others to understand
- Signs are abnormal behaviors others can observe
- Hallucinations—seeing or hearing things that aren’t there
- Delusions—believing things that aren’t true, and are often impossible
- Thought disorder—trouble putting thoughts in order or keeping track of usual tasks
- Lack of insight and self-awareness
In combination, hallucinations and disordered thinking can severely disrupt perception, thinking, emotion, and behavior.
- Sight—seeing colors, shapes, people, or animals that aren’t there
- Sounds—hearing indistinct noises or voices that may be angry or critical
- Smell—strange or unpleasant odors ￼￼
- Taste—some people with psychosis have complained of a constant unpleasant taste in their mouth
- A delusion is a belief that is often unshakeable and can seem implausible or even bizarre to outsiders
- Delusions can include paranoid or grandiose ideas ￼
- A person with psychosis will often believe an individual or organization ￼￼￼￼￼is making plans to hurt or kill them. This can lead to unusual behavior
- Can lead to disorganized or halting speech
- Can cause a person to switch from one topic to another mid-sentence, lose their train of thought, or abruptly pause in conversation or activity
Lack of Insight
- People who have psychotic episodes are often unaware their behavior is strange, or that their delusions or hallucinations are not real
- They may recognize delusional or bizarre behavior in others but lack the self- awareness to recognize it in themselves