What is Psychosis?

When a person has psychosis, they have a break from reality and think, feel and behave in strange ways. It is frightening and confusing. But it can be treated. If you or someone you know is experiencing psychotic symptoms, talk to a doctor right away.

Symptoms of Psychosis
The most common symptoms of psychosis are hallucinations and delusions. A hallucination is a vivid experience where you see, hear, smell or taste something that doesn't actually exist. Delusions are beliefs that are false but a person believes they're true. These can include thoughts about people who don't exist, special powers or being on a special mission.

During a psychotic episode, you may start to believe that your life is in danger. You may also believe that someone is following you or watching you. Some people become so paranoid that they call the police. You might even think that you're Jesus or a god.

Changed Behavior
A person who has psychosis may act differently than usual, such as being extremely active or lethargic. They might have trouble eating or sleeping, and may laugh inappropriately or become upset without an apparent cause.

Early Warning Signs
You'll notice changes in your thoughts or feelings before an episode of psychosis starts. These changes are called "early warning signs." They may appear days or weeks before other symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions.

Your doctor will find out what's causing your symptoms and try to find out what else could be the cause. They will do a physical exam, blood tests and sometimes brain imaging to look for a physical illness or drug use like cocaine or LSD that might be triggering your psychotic symptoms.

It is important to get help if you have psychotic symptoms, because they can interfere with your life and relationships. Your doctor can treat you with medications, psychotherapy and other treatments.

Treatment for psychosis can help you feel better, stay more stable and have fewer symptoms in the future. Most people who get psychosis recover from it, but if they have multiple episodes they may need long-term therapy and medication.

Your doctor can prescribe antipsychotic medications, which block the effects of the chemicals in your brain that cause your hallucinations and delusions. These can be given by mouth or as an injection in the muscle. They're often given every two to four weeks, depending on the medication.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is another mental health treatment that can help you understand your experiences and any upsetting or worrying thoughts or beliefs. It can also help you learn new ways of thinking and dealing with them.

Medication and other treatments can also help you manage your symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions, so that they don't interfere with your daily life. They are used to treat schizophrenia and other mental illnesses that cause symptoms of psychosis.

Getting treatment for your symptoms is a good idea because it can prevent them from affecting your life, work or school. It will also help you avoid more serious problems in the future.

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