In the United States, there are approximately 100,000 new cases of psychosis each year. Psychosis can affect people from any walk of life, but it often begins in the late teens to mid-20s. We want to break down stigmas and misunderstandings and help you learn more about the signs and symptoms of psychosis, some potential causes, and how to find psychosis treatment in Florida.
What Is Psychosis?
According to the American Psychological Association, psychosis is an abnormal mental state characterized by reality testing problems and severe impairments in fundamental higher brain functions. When an individual is experiencing this mental state, they may experience delusions, hallucinations, or severely disorganized speech.
In other words, when someone experiences a psychotic episode, they may have difficulty differentiating between what is real and what is not. It is vital to note psychosis itself is not an illness. It is a symptom. Mental conditions or other factors, such as trauma or physical injury, can trigger psychosis.
Signs of Psychosis
Most of the time, an individual will show significant changes in their typical behavior before psychosis develops. Some well-known signs include difficulty differentiating between reality and fantasy and hearing voices.
A sudden drop in school or work performance and trouble concentrating or thinking clearly can be signs of psychosis. Spending a lot more time alone or seeming more socially withdrawn, feelings of uneasiness with others, paranoid thinking, and suspiciousness are also signs. A lack of emotions, trouble sleeping, and a decline in self-care can be signs of psychosis. People may exhibit disorganized speech, difficulty communicating with others, or have overly intense new ideas or feelings.
Symptoms of Psychosis
Symptoms of psychosis can vary and appear quickly or slowly, depending on the cause. However, common signs of psychosis include hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech, behavior, and thinking. Catatonia, becoming utterly unresponsive to external stimuli, and even unusual psychomotor behavior, like fidgeting, pacing, or tapping, are indicators of psychosis.
Causes of Psychosis
There is no single cause of psychosis. Psychosis can be a symptom of a mental illness, or it could be utterly unrelated to a mental illness.
Mental Health Conditions
Certain psychotic disorders can cause psychosis. Two examples of mental illnesses that can cause psychosis are schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that usually includes symptoms of hallucinations, delusions, and extremely disordered thinking. This disorder is often disabling, and symptoms typically start in the 20s. Schizophrenia is a life-long illness and requires life-long treatment.
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness characterized by unusual and extreme shifts in mood, activity levels, concentration, energy, and ability to carry out daily activities. Formerly known as manic-depressive illness, bipolar disorder is primarily characterized by switches between manic (extremely energized) and depressive (sad or indifferent) episodes. Healthcare professionals usually diagnose bipolar disorder in the teen years or early adulthood. It also typically requires life-long treatment.
Psychosis can occur due to several factors, not just mental health conditions. Other causes of psychosis can include:
- Traumatic experiences
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Side effects of medications
- Sleep deprivation
- Alzheimer’s disease or dementia
How Is Psychosis Diagnosed?
A healthcare professional must consider numerous factors to determine what has caused an individual’s psychosis. A psychologist, psychiatrist, or social worker can help to rule out specific causes and help you determine what is causing the psychosis.
A healthcare professional will usually consider the possibility of a psychotic disorder in a younger individual if they show the signs mentioned above. The healthcare professional will perform a clinical examination and ask several questions to make a diagnosis. These questions may center around any symptoms, family history of psychiatric illness, and your daily thoughts, activities, and experiences.
There is no single test that determines what the cause of psychosis is. Still, healthcare professionals may refer to the APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to diagnose psychosis accurately.
How Is Psychosis Treated?
There are several treatment options for psychosis. The two types of treatment that are typically the most effective are psychotherapy and medication management.
Psychotherapy is a general term used to describe any treatment that involves talking to a mental health care provider. This treatment helps you to learn more about your feelings, moods, thoughts, and behaviors. It also helps to teach you the skills and techniques you need to cope healthily with difficult situations.
There are many different approaches to psychotherapy. Some may be more effective in helping individuals to cope with psychosis than others. A few common types of psychotherapy include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectic behavioral therapy (DBT)
- Coordinated specialty care (CSC)
- Family support and education
The other common approach to treating psychosis is the use of medications. When treating psychotic disorders, the most common type of medication used is antipsychotic drugs. These medications can reduce the symptoms of individuals with psychiatric disorders. They do not, however, cure the underlying condition causing the psychosis. Medications can have several adverse side effects and must only be used under medical supervision.
How to Find the Best Psychosis Treatment in Florida
If you or someone you know is showing symptoms of psychosis, you should seek medical attention to receive a diagnosis. Finding the proper treatment can be challenging, especially if you do not know where to begin. A good general rule you may want to consider is first speaking with your primary care physician. They may be able to get you a referral with a psychiatrist or other healthcare provider who can help you find the proper treatment for you.
You may also want to research what psychosis treatment facilities are available in your area. For psychosis treatment in Florida, contact Comprehensive Wellness Centers today.