If you or a loved one is struggling with psychosis, finding the right treatment can be a challenge. We're here to help you determine whether the care we offer is the right fit.
Learn about psychosis treatment at Belmont Behavioral Hospital in Philadelphia, PA
Psychosis is a condition in which a person has lost touch with reality or believes that things which are not true are actually true. Psychosis is not a mental illness diagnosis, but it is a symptom of a number of mental health disorders. In some cases, psychosis may be a symptom of illness, substance use, exposure to toxins, or allergic reactions. Regardless of the cause, patients with psychosis can have difficulty interacting with their environment, which can render them virtually incapable of functioning in a normal or healthy manner.
Psychosis includes both hallucinations and delusions. Hallucinations occur when a person sees, hears, smells, or feels objects or people that are not really there. Delusions are a little more difficult to recognize, as they involve beliefs or ideas that are not true or logical. Delusions often do not become apparent until a lengthy conversation is initiated with the delusional person.
Psychosis may range from mild to severe, with incidences of recurrence. Psychotic episodes may also last for a few days or a few weeks. It is important to seek immediate treatment for psychosis to prevent worsening of symptoms that could lead to lasting health issues.
The symptoms of psychosis can be extremely distressing and can impact various parts of an individual’s life. The good news is that treatment options are available. With proper treatment, individuals can learn to manage psychosis symptoms and have hope for a better life.
Characteristics of psychosis
The characteristics of psychosis are often visible, easily observable, or identifiable through conversation. Although every patient will experience this condition differently, common symptoms include the following:
- Abnormal physical behavior includes sudden agitation, childlike behavior, mood swings, anger, strange movements or poses, or catatonia. Other symptoms include repeating movements, staring blankly, or echoing noises.
- Hallucinations are a perception of certain visions, smells, or sounds that do not exist and won’t go away easily. Hallucinations are often centered on religious ideas– although people, things, and places could contribute to hallucinations. For instance, when an individual hears voices, these voices have different tone, sound, and personality from the hallucinating person’s own voice and may even have a different tone and personality than that person.
- Delusions are beliefs or ideas that are slightly realistic and seem possible at first but still do not reflect reality and slowly become unrealistic during the conversation. Delusions can have various focuses such as threats to an individual, belief in exceptional talents, potential catastrophes, belief that others are in love with the person, and illness or infestation. Delusions will still persist even when pointed out.
- Negative symptoms occur when a behavior that used to exist suddenly stops. Instances include flat, toneless voice and a cessation of facial expressions. The individual may also stop speaking altogether.
- Disorganized thinking is the inability to communicate or think in an orderly and logical manner. The individual may either speak slowly, rapidly, or not at all, making communication difficult. The changes may also affect the person with psychosis drastically.
Learn what is known about the causes of psychosis
There are various factors that may lead to psychosis, including the following:
Genetic: Individuals who have immediate family members with psychosis are more likely to experience this condition. Heritable hormonal imbalances, metabolic illnesses, and neurological conditions may also increase a person’s risk for psychosis.
Environmental: Examples of environmental risk factors are extreme levels of stress, unexpected life changes, trauma, and lack of sleep. If the person has pre-existing mental illness, that person could also experience worsening of symptoms under stressful conditions.
- Family members with mental illness
- Lack of coping skills
- Existing mental illness
- Substance use
- Exposure to toxins or substances
- Recent birth of a child
- Unhealthy or limited social network
Signs and symptoms of psychosis
Psychosis may place the individual and his or her family in great state of anxiety or danger. Symptoms may vary between individuals, but common signs and symptoms include:
- Anxious or depressed mood
- Olfactory, visual, or auditory hallucination
- Lack of or poor hygiene
- Isolation from loved ones or peers
- Derealization or depersonalization; or the feeling of either things are not real, or that a person is “out of body”
- Disorganized thinking or speech
- Unusual movements or behaviors
- Overemotional or lack of emotions
- Reacting to people or things that are not real
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
Why consider treatment for psychosis at Belmont Behavioral Hospital in Philadelphia, PA
Keep in mind that psychosis is an indicator of a more serious condition. The person may do things he or she would not normally do such as harming himself or herself, or other people. In other words, it is a dangerous illness that may lead to impulsive, unsafe, and regrettable actions. At the same time, psychosis may be a symptom of an immediate or life-threatening illness.
The good news is psychosis can be treated at our center and the patient may record an improvement in behavior. Inpatient treatment often provides individuals who have been struggling with psychosis with the best possibility for experiencing an improved quality of life. Inpatient care at our hospital offers well-trained, understanding, and supportive professionals who can provide effective life-changing care.