Psychosis

What is psychosis?

Psychosis is characterized by an impaired relationship with reality. It’s a symptom of serious mental disorders. People who are experiencing psychosis may have either hallucinations or delusions.
Hallucinations are sensory experiences that occur within the absence of an actual stimulus. For example, a person having an auditory hallucination may hear their mother yelling at them when their mother isn’t around. Or someone having a visual hallucination may see something, like a person in front of them, who isn’t actually there.
The person experiencing psychosis may also have thoughts that are contrary to actual evidence. These thoughts are known as delusions. Some people with psychosis may also experience loss of motivation and social withdrawal.

These experiences can be frightening. They may also cause people who are experiencing psychosis to hurt themselves or others. It’s important to see a doctor right away if you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of psychosis.

Recognizing the symptoms of psychosis

Symptoms of psychosis include:

  • difficulty concentrating
  • depressed mood
  • sleeping too much or not enough
  • anxiety
  • suspiciousness
  • withdrawal from family and friends
  • delusions
  • hallucinations
  • disorganized speech, such as switching topics erratically
  • depression
  • suicidal thoughts or actions