What is psychosis?

I’m new here to the forum. My pdoc just told me last week that he’s thinking I am SZ, so I’m trying to find out about it. So far I’m thinking maybe he’s right. Things seem to fit in with what I’ve been reading. But I’m not sure what psychosis is. Can anyone explain what it means? Thanks.

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Hi, welcome to the forum.

I could be a bit of a snarky and post this…
psychosis |sīˈkōsəs|
noun ( pl. -ses |-ˌsēz|)
a severe mental disorder in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality.
But that’s just my odd (too much coffee) humor.

It’s different for everyone. We all have our own flavor of psychosis. For me, psychosis is when I’m either hallucinating something that isn’t there, either visual or tactile. (those are my two biggest) or I’m going through a delusion that is being helped along by my voices and visual hallucinations.

I know I’m loosing touch with lucid thought when I’m really getting some specific visuals and my problem solving is so out there it’s causing more problems then solving. I am med compliant. But there are still a few gifts from the head circus that I’m coping with. Sometimes I can see something that isn’t there and say… oh come on now… really? But when I see the all consuming flame for example and I act on it… Then I’m sliding into psychosis. (by the way, the all consuming flame for me was due to a house fire when I was younger. It’s not a religious reference)

Hope this starts to help a little.

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psych meaning mind

osis meaning state

a state of mind

ive had espisdoes of psychosis, its like the fever of any type sz or bi-polar. it can be beaten for one third of sufferers with the correct treatment

my definition is being out of touch with reality. This can be due to hallucinations, (of any or all of the senses) delusions (beliefs which are not provable and intrusive to your train of though) or disorganization of thoughts, speech and behavior. Basically, psychosis is having a flawed, inaccurate perception of reality, exactly like someone on LSD would have. The only thing is, we dont see fun trippy stuff like pink elephants, we have hallucinations like overhearing family members plotting to kill us. I had slightly disorganized thoughts while psychotic, but just slightly. I had strong delusions of being watched, persecuted, and vilified by the news. I was sure that the FBI was bugging my room and watching my every move, then putting my life on the news like that movie The Truman Show. I also heard voices that no one else heard, and these voices were distinct, they had ages and genders and spoke in a unique certain way just like a real person does.

All in all, psychosis is nearly identical to an LSD trip or other hallucinogens in terms of neuro-chemistry. A schizophrenic brain is chemically similar to a normal brain on LSD.

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Literature from well ways, helping families and friends find better ways
Psychosis is when a person loses touch with reality and has confused thoughts, perception, emotions and behaviour. Symptoms may include disturbing delusions and hallucinations. Psychotic symptoms can occur in an isolated episode or as part of an ongoing diagnosed illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, psychosis or schizoaffective disorder. Three in every 100 people will experience a pscycotic episode. Many recover fully. Like any other illnesses psychosis can happen to anyone. Some experiences of psychosis are isolated episodes, especially substance-induced psychosis and brief reactive psychosis.
Substance-induced psychosis
Sometimes a first episode can be triggered by the use of drugs, including heroin, cocaine, alcohol, marijuana, amphetamines, (speed), and benzodiazepines. Drug induced psychosis will subside once the drugs or alcohol are out of the persons system.

I found this handout extremely helpful though I dispute that in saying once the persons is dry and drugs and alcohol are out of a persons system they will no longer be psychotic? Do you ask why, my lived experience, I was diagnosed at 16 with schizophrenia after 4 years of heavy drug use and I am still managing my life coping with schizophrenia.
Hope this information has proved helpful


I would only know that i went through psychosis is when i become well, and i look back and see those believes that i had was not appropriate at all.


Exactly! That’s the way it normally goes with me and delusional thinking!

no one told me i could have flavoured hallucinations, where do you get them from ?
do you mean i have been having drab ordinary hallucinations all this time !
i feel ripped off !
from now on i am having treble chocolate hallucinations !.
take care


Thanks everyone for your comments. SurprisedJ, you are right, I should have been more specific as to what I was asking. What does psychosis look like to you, would have been a better question.

I guess for me, its seeing people/objects in the edges of my vision moving around and hearing voices that aren’t there and a few delusions like thinking I can read minds and tell the future. When I drive (which isn’t too often) I have to keep my eyes on hte road and am scared to blink cause I keep on thinking that I just ran someone over, but it never happens. The psychosis seems to last about 30 minutes at a time now a couple times a day. When things get really bad, it lasted much long, like days at a time. Up until now I thought I had DID or DIDNOS (Dissociative Disorder: Not Otherwise Specified) because I have some trauma in my past, but maybe it is SZ. Not sure. There is one persecutor voice that is really clear, demanding and hurtful, it tells me horrible things about myself and others and tells me to SU/SI. I’m trying to learn to manage how to live with this. DBT helps, just started talking to T and pdoc put me on Saphris.

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I am sorry that I had too much coffee yesterday morning and was feeling a bit silly and snarky. It doesn’t always happen. You’re question was just right.


As far as drugs and SZ. I reached for drugs because I’ve never been right in the head. My parents say that my very real imaginary friends, my talking toys, my perception of reality, was always an issue. I guess my first unhinged break, according to my parents happened when I was about 5.

But I reached for drugs and alcohol because I was already mentally suffering. I remember having voices before I reached for alcohol to quiet them. I was having negative symptoms before I reached for acid and XTC to melt away that wax build-up. I was having paranoia and panic before I reached for pot to try and calm it. I was having lack of speech and motivation before I reached for Coke and meth to try and get moving.

So when I got clean and sober, nothing really changed. I was still swinging from negative to positive symptom. The only thing was, the meds were able to finally work and I was able to have more periods of lucid then not.
I still have hallucinations and have voices and racing thoughts and confusing and odd reasoning and OH those delusions… but I’m getting better at managing this.

I hate negative symptoms so much more then positive. For me a few voices and an imaginary cat walking around out of the corner of my eye is so much easier to deal with then that flat, cut off, covered in wax, unable to express or feel state of negative symptom.

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I agree, negative symptoms are the worst. Every once in a while I get a day where I dont even have the motivation to watch a tv show, I just feel like chain smoking and waiting for time to pass. It’s so hard to describe negative symptoms, it’s like your brain just says “NO.” to anything you think about doing. On my good days, I am quite on the ball, I more than make up for my bad days. This is my 4th bad day in a row, but I am going to a NAMI meeting tonight, and I made plans to hit the gym with an old friend tomorrow. You would never guess that I have schizophrenia from the way I look- when I do go to the gym, I take preworkout supplements (fast-acting stimulants) and really go hard, so I keep my muscle. I also study hard for exams, but some days I just sit through class and doodle. I made all A’s this past semester…I just read really hard when I have good days and learn that ■■■■, and I write papers in one sitting when I finally feel like writing them.

I was diagnosed with low negative symptoms, so mine aren’t as severe as most others are. I hate to imagine what severe negative symptoms would feel like…

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i think it’s when someone has a bunch of ideas that seem really important and make all the sense in the world to him, and he feels very enthusiastic about trying to exlain these new ideas to the world.

i was doing it for years and then i realized that’s what psychosis is.

and if it catches on then it’s just shared reality, but it never really does, guess that’w why they call it psychosis.

it means your ideas that no one else shares.