Psychosis - Conditions
What conditions are linked with psychosis?
Psychosis is a set of experiences which can be referred to as a condition. You might have this experience if you have one of the following conditions.
You are likely to get a diagnosis of schizophrenia if you experience a mixture of what medical professionals call ‘positive’ symptoms and ‘negative’ symptoms. In this section we use the term symptom instead of experience as these are medical terms you may come across if you are having medical treatment.
Positive symptoms are called this because they are something you experience in addition’ to your normal experience. They include:
- delusions, or
- disorganised thinking, this is when you switch from one topic to another with no clear link between the two.
Negative symptoms are called this because they take something away from your normal experience. They include:
- no motivation to do anything,
- not saying much,
- not making eye contact, or
- not interacting much with other people.
You can have a combination of negative and positive symptoms. This means schizophrenia can affect your day-to-day life until you get treatment. Although some people recover completely from schizophrenia, it is likely to be a long term condition. You can manage it with the right treatment and support.
This is a mood disorder where you switch from experiencing extreme highs, such as elevated mood and increased activity, to extreme lows. These highs and lows are called mania and depression. If you experience manic symptoms you may also experience psychosis. For example, you may believe you have special powers or are on a special mission. Not everyone with bipolar disorder will experience psychosis.
People with a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder may experience bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Because some of the experiences of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia overlap, psychiatrists can find it difficult to make a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder.
Drug induced psychosis
People who use or withdraw from alcohol and drugs can experience psychosis. These experiences may last a long time and lead to doctors diagnosing you with a psychotic illness.
If you have a diagnosis of depression you can feel low, lack motivation and energy, feel guilty and lose your appetite or sleep poorly. If you have a diagnosis of clinical depression, you may get psychotic experiences. These are usually negative and self blaming. You may believe that you are responsible for something when you are not.
Postpartum (puerperal) psychosis
If you have psychotic experiences after giving birth, this is known as postpartum psychosis. This can happen straight away or up to three months after birth.
Women with experiencing postpartum psychosis may feel very confused, and experience brief hallucinations.
Head injury, or a physical illness that affects how your brain works, can cause experience of psychosis. People often have memory problems or feel confused as well as having psychotic experiences.
Psychiatrists might diagnose you with a delusional disorder if you have a single firmly held belief that is not true, but might not seem particularly out of the ordinary either. For example, you may feel convinced that your partner is deceiving you even if they are not. You don’t have hallucinations or negative symptoms with this disorder.
Reaction psychosis or Brief psychotic episode
You might have experiences of psychosis after a major stressful event in your life, such as a death in the family, or change of living circumstances.
Experiences can be severe, but most people who have reaction psychosis make a quick recovery, which can take up to a month.
Find out more here:
Need practical advice & info? We can help.
Contact our Advice team about mental health & related issues
0300 5000 927 Monday - Friday 9.30am - 4pm, not including bank holidays