Managing psychosis can be a challenge, but Fresh Start Behavioral Health can help. Psychosis occurs when individuals experience a partial detachment from reality. Symptoms may include perceiving stimuli that others do not (hallucinations), holding beliefs that lack factual basis (delusions), and experiencing disorganized thought patterns and speech.

Symptoms of Psychosis

The three primary symptoms of psychosis include:

  • Hallucinations: Individuals perceive sensory experiences such as hearing, seeing, and sometimes feeling, smelling, or tasting things that do not exist outside their mind. These experiences can feel vividly real to the affected person, with hearing voices being a common example.
  • Delusions: Individuals strongly hold beliefs that are not shared by others. A typical delusion might involve someone believing in a conspiracy aimed at harming them.
  • Disordered thinking and speaking: Individuals experience rapid and disjointed thought processes, leading to fast and confusing speech patterns.

The combination of hallucinations and delusional thinking often leads to significant distress and behavioral changes.

Psychotic episodes refer to experiencing these symptoms.

Causes of Psychosis

The underlying causes of psychosis can sometimes be attributed to specific mental health conditions, such as:

  • Schizophrenia: This disorder manifests with various psychological symptoms, including hallucinations and delusions.
  • Bipolar disorder: A mental health condition characterized by mood swings, where individuals may experience episodes of depression and periods of elevated or manic mood.
  • Severe depression: In some cases, individuals with depression may also exhibit symptoms of psychosis during severe depressive episodes.

Additionally, psychosis can be triggered by various factors, including:

  • Traumatic experiences
  • Stress
  • Substance misuse, including drugs and alcohol
  • Side effects of certain medications
  • Physical conditions such as brain tumors or dementia
  • Head injuries
  • Childbirth

The frequency and duration of psychotic episodes can vary depending on the underlying cause.

Treating Psychosis

Treatment for psychosis varies depending on the underlying cause but typically involves a combination of approaches:

  • Antipsychotic medication: These drugs help alleviate the symptoms of psychosis.
  • Talking therapies: One-on-one cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and family interventions, which involve partners, family members, and close friends, can be beneficial.
  • Social support: Assistance with social needs such as education, employment, or housing.

Some individuals may require long-term use of antipsychotic medication, possibly for life. Others may be able to gradually reduce their dosage and discontinue medication if symptoms significantly improve. It's essential not to abruptly stop taking prescribed medications as this could lead to symptom relapse. In severe cases, individuals may require admission to a psychiatric hospital for treatment.

Visit our offices in Dayton, West Carrolton, and Cincinnati Ohio to learn more.

*All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.