I've mentioned psychosis a couple times already, but today I'd like to go into a little more detail. The first big thing to note is that psychosis is a very real, and often severe mental illness. Using words like "psycho" or "psychotic" when talking about people's general behavior is completely inappropriate. People who are experiencing psychosis are having an impaired sense of reality and are in need of acute mental health care.
Psychosis is not generally a mental illness on its own, but rather a symptom of other disorders. It is characterized mainly by hallucinations and delusions. Hallucinations can involve any of the senses, not just hearing, where the person is experiencing something that isn't really there. Delusions are false beliefs that are firmly held, even if there is no evidence for them, such as believing someone is following you or believing you are terminally ill even if you are healthy.
Other symptoms of psychosis include:
It's currently unclear as to what causes psychosis, as each case is different. It can be triggered by external events such as death of a family member, drug use, and lack of sleep. It can also be caused by illness such as Parkinson's, Huntington's, brain tumors, Alzheimer's, strokes, and head injuries.
Treatment for psychosis in an acute situation is often with a sedative, as people in that situation can be harmful to themselves or others. Ongoing anti-psychotic medication along with talk therapy is very helpful for more chronic issues.
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