What is psychosis?
The Cleghorn Program
The word "psychosis" is used to describe conditions that affect the mind, in which there has been some loss of contact with reality.
Psychotic symptoms can include:
- Confused thinking, speaking, and behaviour
- Seeing or hearing things that are not real
- Strongly held beliefs which are unusual and unjustified
Psychotic episodes are periods of time when psychosis is severe and interferes with someone's life.
Psychosis usually occurs for the first time in young people. Studies show that the chances for developing many types of psychosis are higher for family members of people with a psychosis.
Stress, drug misuse, or excessive alcohol use can trigger a first episode of psychosis.
If psychosis is detected early, many problems can be prevented. The earlier someone takes action to address the psychosis, the greater the chance of a successful recovery.
What are the early signs of psychosis?The very early signs of psychosis are often a combination of minor changes, but they are enough to make a person feel different than usual. Early signs can include:
- feeling depressed or sad most of the time
- having trouble relating to family and friends
- having trouble coping with work or school
- feeling very tired or lacking in energy
- changes in eating or sleeping patterns
- feeling paranoid or worried about other people and their actions
- noticing a change in the way things look or sound
- noticing things in the surroundings that other people don't notice.
What are the symptoms of psychosis?As the psychosis continues to develop, a person may experience more obvious symptoms, such as:
- Everyday thoughts become confused, jumbled or seem to speed up or slow down
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty following a conversation
- Difficulty remembering things
- Unusual or bizarre beliefs, not explained by a person's cultural background, religious beliefs or normal way of life
- Being convinced that the delusions are real, and logical discussion won't change their minds
- Seeing, hearing, smelling, or tasting something that is actually not there
- Not realizing that these things are not real
- Feeling and/or mood changes for no apparent reason
- Feeling strange and cut-off from the world
- Feeling unusually excited or depressed
- Feeling less emotion than in the past
- Showing less emotion than those around them
- Behaving differently than in the past
- Acting impulsively
- Feeling bored all of the time
- Not wanting to do things that have been enjoyed in the past