Psychosis is a mental health condition which can cause people to interpret and perceive things and situations differently due to an altered state of mind. Often the person experiencing the psychosis does not have much insight and the symptoms can also include delusions (fixed and unshakable false beliefs) and hallucinations (when a person sees, hears and at times can smell, taste and feel things which are not there but seem very real).
There can be many causes for someone to have psychotic symptoms. Occasionally, physical health problems which can have impact on brain can cause such symptoms too. For example, brain injuries, tumours, and adverse treatment reactions can cause psychosis. Unwanted side effects of narcotics, withdrawal problems and infections can also risk causing changes in the brain.
Mental health conditions which can cause psychotic symptoms include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and severe depression, as well as pregnancy and hormonal related conditions. Reaction to psychoactive substances can also trigger psychosis.
Treatment of psychosis will depend on the cause, therefore, getting a diagnosis and assessment by an experienced professional is the key. Antipsychotic medications can be very effective in treatment of psychotic symptoms. Psychological treatments, support, psychoeducation, support to carers and on-going follow up consultations with a psychiatrist can help in controlling and alleviating the symptoms of psychosis.
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