Definition: “a loss of contact with reality”.
Classification / type of disease:
Presenting symptoms / signs:
- Visual / auditoryhallucinations
- Delusional beliefs (some paranoid in nature)
- Personality changes
- Thought disorder (loosening of associations, that is, a disconnection and disorganization of the semantic content of speech and writing)
The Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) assesses the level of 18 symptom constructs of psychosis such:
- Suspicion (mistrust and doubt about another person’s honesty)
- Grandiosity (unrealistic sense of superiority – a sustained view that you are better than everyone else).
During the initial assessment and the follow-up, both positive and negative symptoms of psychosis can be assessed using the 30 item Positive and Negative Symptom Scale (PANSS)
Various psychiatric causes including =
- Drug abuse of “psychoactive drugs” – amphetamines, cocaine, alcohol, cannabis
- Prescribed medications: bromocriptine and phenylpropanolamine
- Bipolar disorder
- Psychosocial stress
- Sleep deprivation
General medical =
- Electrolyte disorders
- Treat the cause
- May require antipsychotics
- If no medicines help – electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may help
- Early intervention – if recognise prodrome – CBT may help avoid progression to psychosis.