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Psychosis


Facts to Know:

  • Psychosis is a symptom, not an illness, and it is more common than you may think.
  • Psychosis is characterized as disruptions to a person’s thoughts and perceptions that make it difficult for them to recognize what is real and what isn’t.
  • Behavioral Therapies and medications can improve the symptoms of psychosis.

What is psychosis?

The exact cause of psychosis is unknown. Sometimes psychosis is a symptom of a condition like schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder or depression. Additional risk factors include trauma, substance abuse, genetics or physical injury or illness. As many as three in 100 people will have an episode of psychosis at some point in their lives. We do know that teenagers and young adults are at increased risk.

Symptoms

Psychosis is different in each person. Generally, these signs and symptoms strongly indicate an episode of psychosis.

  • Hearing, seeing, tasting or believing things that others don’t
  • Persistent, unusual thoughts or beliefs that can’t be set aside regardless of what others believe
  • Strong and inappropriate emotions or no emotions at all
  • Withdrawing from family or friends
  • A sudden decline in self-care
  • Trouble thinking clearly or concentrating

Diagnosis

A diagnosis of psychosis is best made by a mental health professional such as a therapist or psychiatrist. Health care providers draw on information from the person, medical and family history, and a physical examination in order to develop a diagnosis. If the cause of psychosis is related to a mental health condition, early diagnosis and treatment provide the best hope of recovery.

Treatment

At ColumbiaDoctors, we provide the full array of treatments for psychosis. Search our providers for a therapist or psychiatrist who might be a good fit. In addition, The Lieber Recovery Clinic is a specialized service that offers comprehensive outpatient treatment for people with psychosis with a special emphasis on returning to work, school, and independent living.

Psychotherapy and Behavioral Therapies

Behavioral therapies involve talking with a clinician in individual or group sessions. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an example of a behavioral therapy that is an evidence based treatment for psychotic symptoms. Our therapists and psychiatrists are trained in the latest therapy modalities and can help you determine if a behavioral therapy is right for you.

Psychopharmacology (Medication Management)

Medication is an evidenced based treatment for psychosis. Here at ColumbiaDoctors, our psychiatrists combine a thorough evaluation of each individual’s problems with the latest research to design a customized treatment plan. 

Article written by:

Sharon Fader, LCSW