What You Need to Know about Psychosis
Psychosis is a broad term that refers to a psychological condition in which a person is no longer able to distinguish reality from their imagination. Psychosis can be a symptom of various mental illnesses, such as Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder and Depression. It can also be associated with physical conditions or substance abuse. While suffering from psychosis, a person may have delusions, hallucinations and generally lack control of their mental functions.
What is Psychosis?
Psychosis is only a symptom that can be associated with many other mental and physical illnesses. Some psychosis disorders are chronic hallucinatory psychosis, brief psychotic disorder, schizotypal disorder, depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Traumatic events, nutrient deficiencies and high stress situations can also cause a person to experience psychosis. A psychotic event may last just a few moments, several years or for the rest of a person’s life.
Depression and psychosis are not always interlinked, but some forms of depression, such as bipolar disorder, may involve some level of psychosis. People suffering from depression and psychosis may have self-blaming or grandiose delusions.
Psychosis symptoms can vary from person to person, but they generally include: delusions, hallucinations, catatonia, and the inability to form conscious thoughts. Patients may believe they see or hear things that are not really there, form beliefs that are untrue, perform repeated movements, stop moving at all and lose the ability to speak and write coherently.
Induced psychosis occurs when a person has taken a substance that brings about psychosis. There are several drugs that have been used recreationally to intentionally induce psychotic states. The effects of most of these drugs are temporary and have no long lasting effects, but people experiencing drug induced psychosis have more suicidal thought and are more aware of being in a psychotic state that someone with an actual psychotic disorder. Some substances that cause psychotic behavior are: alcohol, cannabis, barbiturates, cocaine, methamphetamine, LSD and caffeine. Drugs that include fluoroquinolone may cause permanent psychosis.
Post psychosis, patients can fully resume their normal behavior, but may always run the risk of having another psychotic episode at any time. Some patients may never fully recover and will suffer from some degree of psychosis at all times. Patients who fail to take anti-psychotic or anti-depressant medication as prescribed may experience a relapse in psychotic behavior until they resume their medication. People who suffered from psychosis following a traumatic or stressful event usually recover once the stressful event is over or they receive treatment to move past the traumatic event. Treatment can include counseling, medication or modifications in behavior.