Psychosis is a fairly uncommon and serious but treatable medical condition. The person affected experiences some loss of contact with reality which may or may not follow a marked stressful event. Symptoms may include delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech including incoherence and grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior. A psychotic disturbance can severely disrupt a person's relationships, work and self care. The person affected will experience disturbances in behaviour, thinking, and emotions. Sometimes these symptoms can be mistaken for intoxication.
Psychosis has many possible causes and is usually differentiated between primary and secondary psychosis. Schizophrenia is the most well known of psychotic behaviour and is characterized by symptoms that include hallucinations, social withdrawal and thought disorders. Schizophrenia is more common with men and typically first occurs in men in their late teens or early 20s. For women, it usually first occurs in their 20s or 30s. There is a known genetic component to this illness. Contrary to public opinion, individuals with schizophrenia are not prone to violence. Secondary psychosis can result from acquired brain injury, psychoactive substance use, or mood disorders such as depressive disorders.
Medication is the most effective form of treatment for psychotic behaviour.