Psychosis is a condition that affects the way your brain processes information.  It causes you to lose touch with reality.  You might see, hear, or believe things that aren’t real.  Psychosis is a symptom, not an illness.  A mental of physical illness, substance abuse, or extreme stress or trauma can cause it.

Psychotic disorder, like schizophrenia, usually affects you for the first time in the late teen years or early adulthood.  Young people are especially likely to get it, but doctors don’t know why although certain behaviors like marijuana use have been found to precipitate the onset of psychosis.

Warning signs:
  • A drop in grades or job performance
  • Trouble thinking clearly or concentrating
  • Suspiciousness or unease around others
  • Lack of self-care of hygiene
  • Spending more time alone than usual
  • Stronger emotions than situations call for
  • No emotions at all
  • Signs of early psychosis:
  • Hear, see, or taste things others don’t
  • Hang on to unusual beliefs or thoughts no matter what others say
  • Pull away from family and friends
  • Stop taking care of yourself
  • Not be able to think clearly or pay attention
Cardinal symptoms:
  • Hallucinations:  Hearing voices when no one is around
  • Tactile hallucinations:  Strange sensations or feelings you can’t explain
  • Visual hallucinations:  You see people or things that aren’t there, or you think the shape of things looks wrong
  • Delusions:  Beliefs that aren’t in line with your culture and that don’t make sense to others, like
  • Outside forces are in control of your feelings and actions
  • Small events or comments have huge meaning
  • You have special powers, are on a special mission, or actually a deity

Besides schizophrenia, many other diseases can manifest symptoms of psychosis including traumatic brain injuries, strokes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, substance use or bipolar disorder. 

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