What is Psychosis? Definition of Psychosis
The word "psychosis" refers to a medical condition that happens in the brain, in which there has been some loss of contact with reality.
Psychosis results in a number of changes can affect the person’s perceptions, thoughts, emotions, and behaviour.
- A person with psychosis may experience hallucinations (hearing, seeing, tasting, smelling and feeling things that others can’t and that are not present) and delusions (false, often odd or irrational beliefs).
- Hallucinations and delusions can seem so real that often the person does not realize that they are experiencing psychosis.
- These experiences are often distressing and frightening for the person
- There can be other changes in thought processes (e.g., concentration), mood, sleep, and social behaviour.
The experience of psychosis varies greatly from person to person. Individuals experiencing psychosis can have very different symptoms.
Psychosis can result from a number of different causes and can occur in a variety of mental and physical illnesses.
The terms "early psychosis" or "first episode psychosis" mean that an individual is experiencing psychosis for the first time.
Psychotic episodes are periods of time when symptoms of psychosis are strong and interfere with daily life. Although the lengths of these episodes vary from person to person and may only last a few hours or days, psychosis is most likely to continue for weeks, months or even years unless the person receives proper treatment.