What is Psychosis?
This is a big topic, with lots to discuss but, for now, here is a brief overview. Psychosis is often characterized as “a break with reality” or “ a mismatch in realities”, meaning there’s a difference in the reality of the individual experiencing psychosis and the general public’s understanding of what’s going on around them. Symptoms of psychosis can be divided into two categories, positive and negative.
I’m going to explain positive symptoms first because this is often what people notice first. Positive symptoms don’t mean good but rather in addition to a “normal” state of functioning and they are actually a category of symptoms. Things that fall under this category include hallucinations, delusions, and disorganization of both speech and behavior. And, like I mentioned before, these are the symptoms that lead families or individuals to present to professionals first because they are the most obvious.
Negative symptoms can be pretty tricky to spot because they often present similarly to, or can be confused with, depression, laziness, and / or apathy. They can also create a significant amount of frustration with families of individuals who experience psychosis because they don’t understand what’s actually going on or how to best help the individual.
Negative symptoms are most often seen in schizophrenia and, like positive symptoms, they are a group of various presentations and they can include things like diminished emotional expression, avolition (a lack of motivation), anhedonia (the inability to feel pleasure), asociality (a decline or incapability of engaging in social interaction), and alogia (poverty of speech).
Psychosis can be present in numerous diagnoses, both medical and psychiatric, which is why seeking professional help during the initial stages of an illness, is so important. That being said, the range diagnoses that can have symptoms of psychosis is vast and includes things like depression, bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, brief psychotic disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD, autism spectrum disorder, types of seizure disorders, personality disorders, neurodegenerative disorders and acute substance intoxication, just to name a few.
Yes! People with psychosis can get better and, in some cases, can live their life without another episode. But I think this topic deserves it’s own post which you can read here.
Questions? Thoughts? Leave them below! Find the orginal post here
Nothing on this blog should be taken as a replacement for medical, clinical, or professional advice or intervention. All content is for educational purposes only.