What is Psychosis?

by | Aug 7, 2023 | Blogs

Psychosis is a mental condition where someone may lose touch with reality. This condition often includes experiencing hallucinations, like hearing voices, and delusions, such as unfounded fears of being targeted by others. These symptoms can make it difficult for a person to understand what’s real and what’s not. Other signs include confusing or unclear speech and behaving inappropriately for the situation. These symptoms can seriously disrupt daily life.

If someone shows signs of psychosis, it’s important to seek medical help quickly. Early treatment tends to work better. A primary care doctor can assess the situation and might refer the individual to a mental health specialist. Treatment for psychosis typically involves medication, therapy, and support for social needs, all of which help manage symptoms and improve overall functioning. Getting help early is key in dealing with psychosis effectively.

Symptoms of psychosis

The following are the two most prominent signs of psychosis:

Hallucinations are experiences in which a person hears, sees, and, in some circumstances, feels, smells, or tastes things that do not exist outside of their mind but may seem extremely real to the person who is afflicted by them. Hearing voices is a typical hallucination, while someone who believes there is a plot against them is an example of a common delusion. Hallucinations and delusions are both states in which a person has strong beliefs that are not shared by others.

When combined, hallucinations and delusional thinking have the potential to bring about serious emotional discomfort as well as a shift in behavior.

Having a psychotic episode is a common way of referring to the experience of experiencing the symptoms of psychosis.

When to seek the assistance of a medical professional about psychosis

If you are exhibiting signs of psychosis, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible from a primary care doctor.

It is critical that psychosis be treated as quickly as possible, since therapy started sooner rather than later may be more successful.

Your primary care doctor could ask you certain questions to assist in determining the root of your psychosis.

They should also send you to a professional in mental health for further evaluation and treatment as soon as possible.

Obtaining assistance for other people

You might make a call to a general practitioner on someone’s behalf if you are worried about them.

You may want to get in touch with the individual’s mental health professional if they are getting assistance from a mental health agency.

You have the following options available to you if you believe that the individual’s symptoms are serious enough to need immediate medical attention and might put them in danger:

  • if they are willing, you should take them to the closest emergency room.
  • phone their primary care physician or the nearest out-of-hours GP.
  • Dial 999 and request an ambulance to be sent.

There are also a variety of mental health helplines that people may call to get guidance from professionals.

Causes of psychosis

It is occasionally feasible to pinpoint the etiology of psychosis as a particular mental health problem, such as the following examples:

  • The mental illness known as schizophrenia is characterized by a wide variety of symptoms, some of which include hallucinations and delusions.
  • bipolar disorder is a mental health illness that affects mood; a person with bipolar disorder may experience periods of low mood (depression) and periods of high mood (or enhanced mood) (mania)
  • Psychotic symptoms may be present in some persons who suffer from severe depression because some people with depression also have psychotic symptoms when they are severely depressed.

Additionally, the following may be a catalyst for psychosis:

  • a painful experience
  • anxiety, drug abuse alcohol abuse misuse of prescription medication adverse effects of drug abuse and misuse of drugs
  • a disease or disorder of the body, such as a brain tumor
  • The underlying reason may determine the frequency of psychotic episodes as well as the length of time that they continue.

Treating psychosis

A mixture of these approaches is often used to treat psychosis.

  • antipsychotic medication, which is capable of assisting in the alleviation of psychosis symptoms
  • psychological treatments, namely one-on-one conversational therapy Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a form of therapy that may involve partners, family members, and close friends, has been shown to be effective in helping people with psychosis, and family interventions, another form of therapy, have been shown to reduce the need for hospital treatment in people with psychosis.
  • social support refers to assistance with a variety of social requirements, including education, work, and housing.

It is advised for some individuals to take antipsychotics on a continuous basis (and possibly for the rest of their lives). If the symptoms of the condition significantly improve, there is a possibility that other individuals will be able to progressively lower their dose and finally stop taking the medication completely.

It is important that you do not abruptly stop taking any of the medications that your doctor has recommended for you since this might lead to a return of your symptoms.

It may be necessary for a person to be admitted to a mental institution for treatment if the psychotic episodes they are experiencing are of a severe kind.

Anastasiya Palopoli
Written by Anastasiya Palopoli

Anastasiya Palopoli, a board-certified Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, has extensive experience in nursing and psychiatric care, with degrees in Nursing from UCF and Psychiatric Mental Health from the University of Cincinnati. Following a residency in General and Child Psychiatry in Florida, she specializes in treating Dementia, psychosis, depression, and anxiety through holistic approaches. Beyond her professional life, she enjoys hiking, tennis, and traveling with her family.