Psychosis can be described as an abnormal condition of the mind and a generic psychiatric term for a mental state in which one experiences a "loss of contact with reality." People with psychosis are described as psychotic. People experiencing psychosis may exhibit some personality changes and thought disorder. Depending on its severity, this may also be accompanied by unusual or bizarre behavior as well as difficulty with social interaction and a general impairment in carrying out daily life activities.
Within the context of clinical psychology, psychosis is a very broad term that can mean anything from relatively mild delusions to the complex and catatonic expressions of schizophrenia and bipolar type 1 disorder. Generally speaking however, psychosis involves noticeable deficits in cognitive functioning and diverse types of hallucinations or delusional beliefs, particularly those that are in regard to the relation between self and others such as delusions of grandiosity, paranoia, or conspiracy. The most common of these signs and symptoms of psychosis are listed as separate subcomponents below:
- Auditory hallucinations
- Visual hallucinations
- Thought disorganization
- Thought connectivity
Psychosis is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of hallucinogenic compounds, such as deliriants psychedelics, dissociatives, and cannabinoids. However, it can also occur under the influence of stimulants, particularly during the comedown or as a result of prolonged binges. It may also manifest from abrupt discontinuation of long term or heavy usage of certain drugs such as benzodiazepines or alcohol; this is known as the delirium tremens (DTs). Aside from substance abuse it may also occur as a result of sleep deprivation, emotional trauma, psychiatric disorder, urinary tract infections, and various other medical condition.
Compounds within our psychoactive substance index which may cause this effect include:
- American Psychiatric Association, 1994 The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Revision IV (DSM-IV)
- Gelder, Michael G.; Mayou, Richard; Geddes, John (2005). Psychiatry. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-19-852863-0.
- "Throughout History, Defining Schizophrenia Has Remained a Challenge (Timeline)". Scientific American Mind | https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/throughout-history-defining-schizophrenia-has-remained-challenge/