Psychosis is a symptom of other mental health conditions such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and involves psychotic episodes involving hallucinations or delusions.
It can also be caused by physical conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease or as a result of alcohol misuse or drug abuse.
A psychotic episode can involve hallucinations such as hearing voices, tasting something unpleasant, seeing imaginary people or animals or feeling strange sensations on the skin. Paranoid delusions of feeling persecuted or delusions of grandeur where there is a belief in an imaginary power can also occur.
People with psychosis can have confused and disturbed thoughts leading to talking rapidly and incoherently or suddenly stopping mid-conversation as their thoughts wander. When people are having a psychotic episode they are generally unaware of their behaviour.
Treatment usually involves a combination of anti-psychotic medication and psychological therapies. A consultant psychiatrist or your GP will need to monitor the use of medication due to the side effects that can trouble you with this type of medication. Stopping medication can trigger a return of symptoms so the withdrawal of medication must take place under close observation.
Psychological treatment should be used to help you understand your experiences and manage thinking patterns and behaviours. Therapy can include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), family therapy and self-help groups.