Psychosis is a mental disorder characterized by a loss of contact with reality. It encompasses a wide range and variety of different symptoms, which include cognition, mood and behaviour. Schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and delusional disorder are examples of psychotic disorders. However, psychotic symptoms can also be found in other conditions, like bipolar disorder, personality disorder, substance use or depressive disorder. Psychotic disorders can be linked to diverse causes: physical diseases (organic brain disorder), drug use, depressive or manic illnesses. They can also occur as independent disease patterns. The primary symptoms are disorders of cognitive processes and severe disturbances and disorders concerning energy and motivation, feelings and interests.

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Prognosis depends on the cause and the type of psychosis. Chronic conditions, like schizophrenia, need lifetime treatment. The main goal is to treat the symptoms as soon as possible so that the person can recover completely and prevent the gradual deterioration. Without treatment, prognosis is grim. Patients suffering from psychosis have impairments in different areas, such as their ability to relate to others, keep a job and in the most severe cases, even take care of themselves.

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Causes & Risks factor

A number of different factors are associated with the risk of developing psychosis. It is likely that there is no one cause of psychosis and that various risk factors interact with one another to cause the disorder in an individual.

  • Genetics
  • Changes in the brain
  • Environment
  • Stress

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Prodromal symptoms occur in the majority of patients who will develop psychosis and they can be detected by trained specialists. These are characterized by been unspecific, such as reduced sleep or mood changes..

The symptoms of psychosis are generally divided into four groups – positive, negative, cognitive and depressive symptoms.

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