Hi everyone!! This thread is all about psychosis and psychotic disorders and provides information on what the disorder is, the signs and symptoms, treatments and provides a list of links and resources that you may find useful. We also welcome you to discuss your experiences with psychosis in this thread with other members. What is psychosis? Psychosis is a mental health issue that causes people to perceive the world around them differently from people around them and can be described as “losing contact with reality”. People who experience psychosis may present with bizarre and unusual behaviour with personality changes depending on the severity of the illness. People with psychosis can suffer with delusions, hallucinations, or both and in many cases severely impairs insight. It is a very severe condition that can put somebody or others at risk depending on the severity of symptoms so it is important that you seek help immediately if you believe you are suffering with symptoms of psychosis. Some common psychotic disorders include: Schizophrenia – This is a mental illness that affects the way that you think and psychiatrists class this a psychotic illness. It consists of delusional thinking, hallucinations, disordered thinking and personality changes. Schizophrenia usually starts when you are younger and is a chronic mental health illness but with the right treatment you can achieve stability. Bipolar Disorder - A mood disorder that can include psychotic symptoms Drug/alcohol induced psychosis - Psychosis induced by drugs and alcohol Psychotic depression - Major depression with psychotic symptoms Post-partum psychosis/depression - Psychosis that can manifest after giving birth to a baby. This is a severe condition and requires immediate medical attention! Some people mistake psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia as having a split personality, but this is a misconception. Having psychosis means you are experiencing something that seems real to you, but in reality is not what other people are experiencing. Signs and Symptoms Symptoms of psychosis can be split into 4 categories, these are: Hallucinations Hallucinations are where somebody perceives something and believe it is there when in reality it is not and can affect all of the 5 senses. -Sight – Somebody who is hallucinating may see objects, people or animals that are not there. This is not always an unpleasant experience, but some images and experiences can be terrifying. -Sounds – Somebody who is hallucinating may hear unpleasant, angry or derogatory voices that are telling them horrible things about themselves or encouraging them to harm themselves or carry out an act. Not all voices are unpleasant and can be friendly to the person who hears them. Some people may even have a mixture of good voices and bad voices. - Touch – Somebody who is hallucinating may think somebody is touching them when there is nothing there. -Taste – Some people suffering with psychosis complain that they have a horrible taste in their mouth -Smell – Some people with psychosis can smell scents that aren’t there. These can be bother pleasant and unpleasant. Delusions Delusions are patterns of disordered thinking where a person has a belief that something is real when in fact it is not. These can be split into 3 categories: -Paranoid delusions – These are delusions where somebody with psychosis may feel like they are being persecuted or followed. An example of this would be the belief that the government has tried to implant mind control devices in their brain and may be paranoid that there are cameras and microphones in their house. -Delusions of grandeur – These are delusions where a person with psychosis may believe they are a person of importance and significance with a specific mission. An example of this is somebody believe they are a prophet and are on a special mission from God. Other people may think they have to decipher a special message. -Delusions of reference – These are delusions where a person with psychosis may believe that there are special messages for them in songs, on the radio and on the TV or can hear people talking to them via these means. Disordered Thought People with psychosis may experience very disordered thoughts and thinking. This can include rapid and constant speech, swapping from one topic to another mid-sentence and sudden loss in train of thought resulting in an abrupt pause in conversation or activity. Lack of Insight People suffering with psychosis are often unaware that their behaviour is irrational and that their delusions and hallucinations are not real. They may not even understand that their delusions and behaviour can be dangerous. Treatment Most people will not actively seek out treatment themselves as they are unaware that they are psychotic and are usually diagnosed in their acute episode where their symptoms are active. Only a psychiatrist can diagnose a psychotic illness. To treat a psychotic episode your psychiatrist will normally prescribe anti-psychotic medication to aid with your psychotic symptoms. For chronic conditions you may require a course of therapy to help you manage your thinking patterns and may attend therapeutic communities. Links and Resources Here are a few links and resources that may help you when dealing with psychosis: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/psychosis/Pages/Introduction.aspx http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/psychosis/#.VgGqguRRHIU https://www.rethink.org/diagnosis-treatment/conditions/psychosis http://www.camh.ca/en/hospital/heal...irst_episode_psychosis_information_guide.aspx http://headspace.org.au/get-info/psychosis/ http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Schizophrenia/Pages/Introduction.aspx http://www.rethink.org/diagnosis-treatment/conditions/schizophrenia http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/healthadvice/problemsdisorders/postpartumpsychosis.aspx https://www.nct.org.uk/parenting/what-postpartum-psychosis Self-Management Here is a list of resources to help you manage your psychosis: http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/psychosis.htm http://www.heretohelp.bc.ca/visions...elf-management-of-psychosis-and-schizophrenia http://www.psychosis-bipolar.com/understanding-psychoses-05.html http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/help-information/mental-health-a-z/s/self-management/ If you have any other useful links and resources then please share with us! Share Your Experiences! Please use this thread to share your experiences of psychosis with other members. Sharing experiences and hints and tips are useful to other members, and be sure to post if are you are looking for support, help and advice.