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Psychosis – Overview



"Psychosis refers to a condition of the mind whereby our sense of reality is lost or impaired. It can happen for a variety of reasons and can affect everybody from every single walk of life. There are approximately 100,000 new cases of psychosis reported in the US alone every year. Psychosis refers to a symptom and not a defined mental illness, and someone who's experiencing psychosis can be said to be experiencing a psychotic episode. So what are some of the symptoms of psychosis? There are two main symptoms to be aware of when it comes to thinking about psychosis. One is delusions and one is hallucinations. Delusions refers to the presence of a belief that somebody might have that's quite firmly held despite evidence to the contrary, to suggest that it might not be true. For example, someone could have a delusion that somebody is out to hurt them or to harm them. And even when there's evidence to suggest that might not be the case, the person perceives that as real and can become distressed by it. Hallucinations refers to the experience of perhaps seeing smelling, tasting, or hearing things that aren't there. And the important thing to know is that for people who are experiencing hallucinations, that to them, this appears very real. Now this loss of contact with reality, coupled with symptoms such as delusions and or hallucinations, can lead people who are experiencing psychosis to feel distressed. Their understanding of the reality around them might be impaired and it might result in changes to their normal behaviors."

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