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Psychosis: When Your Mind Deceives You

Author: Dr. Vasantha K S - Emotional and Mental Health  

Psychosis is a mental disorder where there is difficulty in differentiating between reality and imaginary sights, sounds, smell, tastes, emotions, and behavior. The person sees, hears, and perceives things that others cannot. Psychosis is not a disease in itself, but a symptom that accompanies various mental health conditions such as:

  • Bipolar disorder.
  • Schizophrenia.
  • Schizoaffective disorder.
  • Major depression.


The main symptoms are hallucinations and delusions. Hallucination refers to hearing, seeing, or feeling things that do not exist. Delusions are irrational thoughts and beliefs. For example, firmly believing that an external force such as an alien is controlling him or her.

The other symptoms are:

  • Lack of co-ordination in thoughts, actions, and speech.
  • Lack of focus.
  • Feeling suspicious and anxious always.
  • Depression.
  • Sleep disturbances.
  • Disregard for personal hygiene.
  • Emotional numbness.
  • Change in personality.


Triggers that are known to worsen or cause the onset of psychotic episodes in those vulnerable to it are:

  1. Lack of sleep.
  2. Mental trauma.
  3. Extreme stress.
  4. Drug abuse.
  5. Alcohol abuse.
  6. Brain diseases such as a tumor, epilepsy, etc.
  7. Mental health conditions.
  8. Certain medications.


The doctor may perform an EEG or brain scan to rule out brain-related physical causes. Once they are ruled out, the doctor will pinpoint a mental illness as the cause based on family history, medical history, personal history and physical examination.


For psychosis, earlier the treatment is initiated, better is the outcome and quality of life in the long run. Treatment includes:

  • Psychotherapy (counseling).
  • Cognitive behavior therapy.
  • Family education and awareness programs.
  • Medication.

A person with a mental illness is difficult to comprehend and handle for someone who has never been exposed to one. He/she is sometimes misunderstood by even their own family and friends. But, it is crucial to realize that they do not want the illness or imagine it in their head. Just like any other physical illness such as fever, having a mental illness is beyond their control and does not mean they are weak. They do better with reassurance and non-judgemental involvement from close members. If your loved one suffers from psychosis, make sure you understand the condition thoroughly. That is the first step in treating them with success.

For more information consult a psychosis treatment specialist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/psychologist-counsellor/psychosis-treatment

Image: Psychosis: When Your Mind Deceives You Last reviewed at: 07.Sep.2018



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