Causes and Symptoms (Magill’s Medical Guide, Sixth Edition)
The individual with a psychosis displays disordered thinking, emotion, and behavior. The individual fails to make sense of his or her surroundings, reacts inaccurately to them, and develops false thoughts or ideas about them. The resulting behavior can be described as peculiar, abnormal, or bizarre. Psychosis runs in families and most often first appears in late adolescence or early adulthood. There are some psychoses with medical and physical causes and some for which the cause is unknown. The treatment of psychoses involves removing or correcting the causes of the psychoses when possible. Psychosis describes a group of symptoms that can be part of several formal psychiatric diagnoses that include schizophrenia. Psychotic symptoms are characterized by delusions, hallucinations, disturbances of movement, and/or speech disturbances.
Delusions are false beliefs that are held despite strong evidence to the contrary. An example of an extreme delusion might be a man’s belief that someone has planted a radio transmitter in his brain that sends signals to creatures on Mars. Hallucinations are false sense perceptions that, like delusions, are held despite strong evidence to the contrary. Hallucinations can involve any of the five senses. Examples of extreme hallucinations include feeling as if one is covered by ants, seeing green cows walking through the wall, hearing voices that do not exist, and smelling a constant odor when...
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Treatment and Therapy (Magill’s Medical Guide, Sixth Edition)
Psychoses are often categorized as organic or functional, which provides a way to communicate the cause of a psychosis and thereby the appropriate treatment. Organic psychoses are attributable to disturbances in the brain. These psychoses can be attributed directly to a problem in the structure, functioning, or chemistry of the brain. Various physical conditions and abnormalities can lead to psychosis, including thyroid disorders, drug reactions, infections, epilepsy, tumors, and circulatory disorders (for example, strokes). The treatment of organic psychoses involves removing or correcting the causes of the psychoses. In the case of a psychosis caused by a disorder of the thyroid gland, the individual might be prescribed medications to correct the thyroid problem or have the gland surgically removed. Certain prescription and illegal drugs can cause a psychosis; these include cocaine, alcohol, heart medications, and pain medications. In these situations, the psychotic symptoms are often eliminated when the medication or drug is discontinued. Organic psychoses may be the result of deteriorating physical conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Such a psychosis is typically nonreversible and is treated with tranquilizing medications to decrease the individual’s discomfort and disruptive behaviors.
Functional psychoses are those psychoses for which no organic causes can be found. Often the psychotic symptoms are part...
(The entire section is 451 words.)
For Further Information: (Magill’s Medical Guide, Sixth Edition)
American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-IV-TR. 4th ed. Arlington, Va.: Author, 2000. The bible of the psychiatric community, this is a compendium of descriptions of disorders and diagnostic criteria widely embraced by clinicians. Included is an extensive glossary of technical terms, making this volume easy to understand.
Barlow, David H., ed. Clinical Handbook of Psychological Disorders. 4th ed. New York: Guilford Press, 2008. This collection defines and describes psychological disorders and uses case histories as illustrations for treatment.
Bloom, Floyd E., M. Flint Beal, and David J. Kupfer, eds. The Dana Guide to Brain Health. New York: Dana Press, 2006. An easy-to-understand health guide to the brain from neuroscience, neurology, and psychiatry perspectives. More than seventy psychiatric and neurological disorders, their diagnoses, and their treatments are covered.
Hogarty, Gerard E., Carol M. Anderson, and Douglas J. Reiss. Schizophrenia and the Family: A Practitioner’s Guide to Psychoeducation and Management. New York: Guilford Press, 1986. Attention is given to techniques for establishing a relationship with the family while the patient is still acutely ill and being seen concurrently on an individual basis by the family clinician.
Kring, Ann M., et al. Abnormal Psychology. 11th ed....
(The entire section is 295 words.)
Psychosis (Encyclopedia of Medicine)
Psychosis is a symptom or feature of mental illness typically characterized by radical changes in personality, impaired functioning, and a distorted or non-existent sense of objective reality.
Patients suffering from psychosis have impaired reality testing; that is, they are unable to distinguish personal, subjective experience from the reality of the external world. They experience hallucinations and/or delusions that they believe are real, and may behave and communicate in an inappropriate and incoherent fashion. Psychosis may appear as a symptom of a number of mental disorders, including mood and personality disorders. It is also the defining feature of schizophrenia, schizophreniform disorder, schizoaffective disorder, delusional disorder, and the psychotic disorders (i.e., brief psychotic disorder, shared psychotic disorder, psychotic disorder due to a general medical condition, and substance-induced psychotic disorder).
Causes and symptoms
Psychosis may be caused by the interaction of biological and psychosocial factors depending on the disorder in which it presents; psychosis can also be caused by purely social factors, with no biological component.
Schizophrenia, schizophreniform disorder,...
(The entire section is 1436 words.)
Psychosis (Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders)
Psychosis is a symptom of mental illness characterized by a radical change in personality and a distorted or diminished sense of objective reality.
Psychosis appears as a symptom of a number of mental disorders, including mood and personality disorders, schizophrenia, delusional disorder, and substance abuse. It is also the defining feature of the psychotic disorders (i.e., brief psychotic disorder, shared psychotic disorder, psychotic disorder due to a general medical condition, and substance-induced psychotic disorder).
Patients suffering from psychosis are unable to distinguish the real from the unreal. They experience hallucinationsand/or delusionsthat they believe are real, and they typically behave in an inappropriate and confused manner.
A mental illness can exhibited through various forms of psychosis, such as:
- Delusions.An unshakable and irrational belief in something untrue. Delusions defy normal reasoning, and remain firm even when overwhelming proof is presented to disprove them.
- Hallucinations.Psychosis causes false or distorted sensory...
(The entire section is 254 words.)
Psychosis (Encyclopedia of Science)
A psychosis is a major psychiatric disorder characterized by the inability to tell what is real from what is not real. Hallucinations, delusions, and thought disorders can accompany psychosis. People who are psychotic often have a difficult time communicating with or relating to others. Sometimes they become agitated and violent. Among the conditions that include symptoms of psychosis are schizophrenia and manic depression (also known as bipolar disorder).
Psychotic episodes may last for a brief period or for weeks and months at a time. Psychosis can arise from emotional or organic causes. Organic causes include brain tumors, drug interactions, or drug or alcohol abuse. Since the 1950s, new medications have been developed to effectively treat psychosis, allowing a person suffering from delusions or hallucinations to regain a more accurate view of reality.
Forms of psychosis
Schizophrenia (skitz-o-FREN-ee-uh) is most frequently associated with psychosis. It is a mental illness that is characterized by delusions, hallucinations, thought disorders, disorganized speech and behavior, and sometimes catatonic behavior (an abnormal condition in which a person remains quiet and paralyzed). Emotions tend to flatten out (lose the normal peaks and valleys of happiness and sadness) and it becomes increasingly more difficult for the person to function...
(The entire section is 735 words.)
Psychosis (Encyclopedia of Psychology)
A symptom of mental illness characterized by a radical change in personality and a distorted or diminished sense of objective reality.
Psychosis may appear as a symptom of a number of mental disorders, including mood and personality disorders, schizophrenia, delusional disorder, and substance abuse. It is also the defining feature of the psychotic disorders (i.e., brief psychotic disorder, shared psychotic disorder, psychotic disorder due to a general medical condition, and substance-induced psychotic disorder).
Patients suffering from psychosis are unable to distinguish the real from the unreal. They experience hallucinations and/or delusions that they believe are real, and they typically behave in an inappropriate and confused manner.
Causes and symptoms
Psychosis may be caused by a number of biological and social factors, depending on the disorder underlying the symptom. Trauma and stress can induce a short-term psychosis known as brief psychotic disorder. This psychotic episode, which lasts a month or less, can be brought on by the stress of major life-changing events (e.g., death of a close friend or family member, natural disaster, traumatic event), and can occur in...
(The entire section is 884 words.)