Psychosis is a mental health condition that involves losing contact with reality, impacting a person’s thoughts, perceptions, and ability to determine what is real and not real. People with psychosis often hear or see things that are not present and may harm themselves or another person.

Psychosis occurs when there are imbalances in the brain’s chemicals. There are a number of factors that can lead to psychosis, including other mental health conditions such as schizotypal disorder. Psychosis is often caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors in most people. This can include, maternal complications or stress, child abuse, head injuries, and drug misuse. Traumatic events, such as war or death, can also trigger psychosis.

Symptoms of psychosis range from mild to severe. In many people, psychosis either appears quickly or develops gradually. Psychosis generally involves one of the following abnormalities: hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thought, disorganized behavior catatonia (unresponsive to stimuli), and a decline in emotions or motivation.

Psychosis requires short-term and long-term mental healthcare. This generally involves a combination of medications, therapy, counseling, and lifestyle changes to manage symptoms.