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Psychosis is a severe mental disorder in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality.
Causes of psychosis
Each case of psychosis is different, and the exact cause isn’t always clear. There are certain illnesses that cause psychosis. There are also triggers like drug use, lack of sleep, and other environmental factors. In addition, certain situations can lead to specific types of psychosis developing.
In general, some of the factors involved in psychosis are:
- trauma (such as a death, sexual assault, or living through a war)
- substance use (drugs like LSD and amphetamines have been linkedTrusted Source to instances of psychosis in some people)
- mental health conditions (like schizophrenia)
It’s not currently possible to precisely identify who is likely to develop psychosis. However, research has shown that genetics may play a role.
People are more likely to develop a psychotic disorder if they have a close family member, such as a parent or sibling, who has a psychotic disorder.
Children born with the genetic mutation known as 22q11.2 deletion syndrome are at risk of developing a psychotic disorder, especially schizophrenia.
Some kinds of psychosis are brought on by specific conditions or circumstances.
Brief psychotic disorder
Brief psychotic disorderTrusted Source, sometimes called brief reactive psychosis, can occur during periods of extreme personal stress like the death of a family member.
Someone experiencing brief reactive psychosis will generally recover in a few days to a few weeks, depending on the source of the stress.
Drug- or alcohol-related psychosis
Psychosis can sometimes be triggered by the use of alcohol or drugs, including stimulants such asTrusted Sourcemethamphetamine.
Hallucinogenic drugs like LSD often cause users to see things that aren’t really there, but this effect is temporary. Some prescription drugs like steroids and stimulants can also cause symptoms of psychosis.
People who have an alcohol or substance use disorder can experience symptoms of psychosis if they suddenly stop drinking or taking those drugs.
A head injury, illness, or infection that affects the brain can causeTrusted Sourcesymptoms of psychosis.
Psychotic disorders can be triggered by stress, drug or alcohol use, injury, or illness. They can also appear on their own. The following types of disorders may have symptoms of psychosis:
When someone is living with bipolar disorder, they experience extreme mood changes. When their mood is high and positive, they may have symptoms of psychosis. They may feel extremely happy or grandiose.
When their mood is more depressed, the person may have symptoms of psychosis that make them feel angry, sad, or frightened. These symptoms can include thinking someone is trying to harm them.
A person experiencing delusional disorder strongly believes in things that aren’t real, even when presented with opposing evidence.
This is major depression with symptoms of psychosis.
Symptoms of psychosis generally appear in schizophrenia.