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What Is Psychosis

Lido Wellness Center Blog

What Is Psychosis?

November 21, 2022

“I had a breakdown.” That’s typically when people hear about psychosis. But what does that actually mean? Because the word psychotic comes from the root of psychosis, there are obviously quite negative ideas surrounding psychosis.

To many, the word connotes: crazy, lunatic, or dangerous. But the word psychosis is more of an experience—something that happens—rather than a diagnosis. If you hallucinated or have had delusional beliefs, you may have had a psychotic event. You may be living with psychosis.

Psychosis does not mean you are dangerous. It does not mean you are “crazy,” and it does not mean you are hopeless.  

Psychosis Defined

The specific definition of Psychosis is a mental disorder in which the individual loses touch with reality due to a deterioration in their mental faculties.

There are 100,000 new cases of psychosis every year, mostly observed in people in their late teens to mid-twenties. It is commonly associated with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (or various other disorders) but can also be caused by drug use, both recreational and prescribed.

You may have experienced psychosis, but your diagnosis may be clinical depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, extreme anxiety, or many other mental health disorders.

What Are the Symptoms?

Psychosis can be short-term, long-term, or occur sporadically throughout one’s life. An obvious way of recognizing a psychotic episode is observed through the main symptoms: abnormal behavior, disorganized speech, and an obvious disconnect with reality.

Knowing that you experience such a mental disorder can cause anxiety, fear, and confusion. It can also impact one’s life and interfere with daily responsibilities. Symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Aggression
  • Restlessness
  • Self-harm
  • Incoherent speech
  • Memory loss
  • Thoughts of suicide

What Causes Psychosis?

In the journey to understand “What is psychosis” you may want to know, “What causes psychosis?”

Psychosis can be triggered by several disorders or environmental factors. As we have mentioned, mental disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder may trigger a psychotic episode. However, you can also experience psychosis because of a high fever.

Each person who has a psychotic episode will have a unique reason or cause. Some other factors that can generate a psychotic episode are:

  • Drugs or alcohol
  • Spiritual experiences
  • Abuse or trauma
  • Prescribed drugs
  • Grief
  • Insomnia
  • Genetic predispositions
  • Medical conditions (malaria, Parkinson’s, brain tumor, etc.)

Types of Psychosis

The following are the three main types of psychosis:

Hallucinations – hearing, seeing, or sensing things that aren’t there. Other senses may be distorted as well, such as smells and sensations occurring on the skin that do not exist. You may hear voices, see the dead, or perceive the world around you acting in ways that are contrary to physics.

Delusions – or beliefs in things that are nonfactual, specifically about oneself, others, and the world around you. They are typically beliefs that are contrary to the reality and perception of truth experienced by everyone around you. You may believe you can control the weather. But you would be the only person who believes that to be true.

Abnormal thoughts and speech – your thoughts move very quickly, and it is difficult to keep track, or your thoughts may jump from idea to idea very quickly through connections that only you can comprehend. This might be physically manifest through ramblings of incoherent speech that expose the sufferer’s incoherent thoughts.

See the story of this UK-based individual and his psychosis experience:

How Is It Treated?

Treatment can vary depending on the individual’s needs. Typically, one may need mental health therapy alongside antipsychotic medication. One popular form is CBTp or cognitive behavioral therapy for psychosis. This is talk therapy that dismantles how a person thinks and feels and establishes coping mechanisms.

Treatment is particularly helpful when one has the support of friends and family. Family therapy can help with understanding the disorder, establish a plan for times of crisis, and help the sufferer cope outside therapy. This can also be achieved through community care, crisis hotlines, or treatment centers.

Lido Wellness Center can help you understand psychosis. Our team has experience with helping people journey through psychotic episodes as well as treating what may be the root cause. Our specialties in trauma and healing, anxiety, depression disorders, and bipolar disorders give us a unique set of tools to help patients find healing for the cause of their psychosis. Call us today to learn about our unique mental health treatment options.


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