What are the Symptoms of Psychosis?
A diagnosis of psychosis for a child can be frightening and detrimental to a family’s overall health. Any mental illness causes worry, but the extremely serious manner of psychosis presents a new kind of obstacle that requires patience from the parents. The goods news is that there is plenty of knowledge from a variety of sources that provide a sense of security and calmness for the worried parent. Cases of psychosis are more well-known than ever before and society is now starting to refuse to be ignorant when it comes to mental disorders. Once a child is diagnosed, it is important to take the steps to learn about the illness and to accept it for what it is. Psychosis symptoms are fairly easy to spot and once treatment is sought, the road to recovery is easier to tread.
First and foremost, psychosis is a mental disorder. A person suffering from psychosis has generally lost awareness from all reality. They have delusions and hallucinations, but these visions crossover into other mental or brain diseases. However, psychosis causes the victim to oftentimes hurt themselves or others when having these thoughts. Because of this, psychosis needs to be taken very seriously.
Signs and Symptoms of Psychosis
There are two main stages that definepsychosis, also known as the early and late stages. According to Healthline.com, early stage psychosis can be characterized by the following symptoms:
- Fluctuations in sleeping patterns
- Lack of concentration
- Social withdrawal
- Consistent unusual thoughts
The later stage of psychosis has many of the same signs of the early stage, but these symptoms are more severe in nature:
- Delusions and hallucinations
- Erratic speech behavior
- Severe depression and anxiety
- Suicidal thoughts
Negative Symptoms of Psychosis
The hallucinations and delusions associated with psychosis are considered positive symptoms, as these thoughts can happen to someone without any permanently serious mental illness at all. Negative symptoms, however, cause the diagnosed patient to have more targeted side effects of psychosis. These signs include loss of motivation and withdrawing from social circles, more specifically friends and family. Negative symptoms are much more serious and harmful to the person with the disorder.
Postpartum Psychosis Symptoms
The term postpartum refers to the time period after a mother gives birth to her baby. After hormone levels die down from pregnancy, the sudden and extreme change in these levels can cause a mother to suffer from severe depression and anxiety. During this time, psychosis can also become a possibility.
According to Postpartum.net, postpartum psychosis related to depression after childbirth occurs suddenly and happens to .1% of mothers. Common symptoms include:
- Delusions and hallucinations
- Increased levels of irritability
- Feeling hyperactive
- Mood swings
- Lack of good communication
A family background of mental disorders increases the risk of postpartum depression turning into postpartum psychosis. Postpartum psychosis poses an even greater threat to the mother’s family, even more so a newborn, as the effects of psychosis can make a new mother hurt her baby. Also, suicide is a high factor and outcome for those suffering from postpartum psychosis. Thus, treatment for these women is imperative.
Drug Induced Psychosis Symptoms
Drugs and Alcohol already can make a person have false thoughts and implications, but high doses or those already suffering from mental disorders who use drugs and alcohol can easily induce psychosis symptoms. Symptoms of this kind of psychosis include:
- No emotional responses
- Disorganization in thoughts and in speech
- Extremely violent and dangerous behavior
Drugs and alcohol already alter the brain’s natural chemicals, but seriously high intakes alter these chemicals even more. Those with a history of mental illness, either personal or family-related, should be weary of drugs and alcohol.
Amphetamine Psychosis Symptoms
Amphetamine is a stimulant drug, commonly used in patients who have mental disorders. It is not unusual for psychiatric patients using amphetamine to enter into psychosis-like symptoms, which include hallucinations and delusions. The risk of amphetamine-induced psychosis is high among those with mental illnesses, as the brain’s chemicals are already out of the norm. Because of this, it is hard to differentiate between psychosis-induced hallucinations and delusions and regular false visions. It is important to know if a patient is using amphetamine to know the contrast between the two.
Those who suffer from bipolar disorder already have trouble controlling their mood swings, switching between extreme happiness and extreme depression. Bipolar psychosis is more serious and even harder to determine as a part of the bipolar disorder.
Bipolar psychosis does not occur on its own; rather, bipolar disorder must already be present. Because mood swings are already severe conditions of those who have bipolar disorder, adding psychosis effects to the equation provides a recipe for disaster. It is vital to keep tabs on those with bipolar disorder to notice anything out of the ordinary so that treatment can be given immediately. Medication is significant to tolerating the effects of bipolar psychosis.
The use of steroids can also cause psychosis. Mood swings are the most prevalent factor in steroid psychosis. Suicidal thoughts are common with this type of psychosis. In order to treat steroid psychosis, a gradual declination in medication is necessary. Withdrawals may become a concern if the process is taken too fast. However, steroid use needs to be stopped if psychosis becomes a side effect, as the person suffering from the psychosis can be very harmful to themselves.
The symptoms of psychosis become more and more clear as science evolves. When someone in the family is diagnosed with this mental illness, being educated on the disorder is very important to helping that person live as normal a life as possible. Knowing the symptoms of psychosis is the first step to helping loved ones get the help that they need. Getting a diagnosis is only half the battle; learning how to live with it takes time, experience, and a lot of support.