A diagnosis of psychosis is undoubtedly frightening. But, the positive aspect of obtaining a proper diagnosis is that you can now learn about possible psychosis causes in your case, how to access the best treatment, and what support is available. You can also now find out how best to help yourself, and you can obtain the most effective guidance for family and friends who want to help you manage your situation. Here, we’ll briefly examine the bewildering symptoms of psychosis. We’ll also look at the common psychosis treatment options.
What is Psychosis?
Currently, the most meaningful psychosis definition amounts to a statement about what happens to people afflicted with psychosis. They have lost contact with reality. That condition can cause them to take very self-damaging actions, such as taking on massive debt and/or making other terrible decisions. They also may talk in ways that make their delusions apparent to employers, neighbors, or others.
In addition to actions against one’s own self-interests, other very serious effects are likely to include one or more of these psychosis symptoms:
- Disorganized Thinking
- Disorganized Speech
A delusion is an irrational perception that experience proves is false yet the individual continues to believe. The delusion can seem entirely real to a delusional person. For example, he or she may have delusions of grandeur, such as believing that he/she is so powerful that he/she controls the economy or the weather. Other types of delusions, such as paranoid delusions, may be extremely frightening and cause the individual to feel threatened. For example, a person may feel that someone is trying to harm or even kill them, even though the person has no reason to believe it.
Hallucinating is seeing things that other people do not see, such as human faces, religious figures, animals, or objects. Objects may appear distorted or seem to move in ways that are not normal for them. Hallucinations may involve smells, tastes, and/or other sensations that have no cause, such as hearing voices or the feeling that insects are crawling on the person’s skin.
Aside from the confusion that comes from delusions and hallucinations, disorganized thinking, also called formal thought disorder, can be a particular form of psychosis. Mental health experts may describe what the person suffering from disorganized thinking experiences as:
- Thoughts sometimes race so fast that you may feel that your mind is uncontrollable.
- Ideas pass very rapidly from one to the next.
- Seeing meaning and connections between things that no one else does.
People who experience racing thoughts during psychotic episodes often simultaneously have flights of ideation and may ineffectually try to express their thoughts. Disorganized thinking may cause speech to become incomprehensible to listeners. For example:
- The person might speak very rapidly, stumble over words, and listeners may not be able to understand what you're trying to say.
- He or she may link together words inappropriately, causing speech to be jumbled and nonsensical.
- He/she might switch from one subject to another very abruptly as thoughts rapidly jump from one thing to another.
- The person may find it too difficult to focus his/her attention on any specific thing.
Psychosis is often diagnosed as a part of schizophrenia.
Treatment Options for Psychosis
Essential treatment for psychosis usually involves:
- Anti-Psychotic Medications: These drugs are typically prescribed as the first line of treatment for psychosis. The medications used for this form of treatment work by blocking dopamine effects.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: CBT for people exhibiting symptoms of psychosis is grounded in the understanding of how experience is being processed by people suffering from psychosis. The therapist will provide coaching to help the individual consider other ways of thinking about what's happening around him/her, among other strategies for self-management of symptoms.
Psychosis Treatment at Pathways Real Life Recovery
Learning that you are exhibiting signs of psychosis and need mental health treatment naturally causes a person to feel worried and fearful. It’s important to be in the care of mental health treatment professionals who provide a therapeutic environment that is conducive to significant improvement. Our team knows how to help people struggling with psychosis feel more at peace, build stronger trust and confidence, and ultimately find lasting improvement.