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Psychosis

A severe mental disorder in which a person loses the ability to recognize reality or relate to others. Symptoms include being paranoid, having false ideas about what is taking place or who one is, and seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Cancer Institute)

Examples of Conditions That May Involve Psychosis

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Antipsychotic drugs for non‐affective psychosis during pregnancy and postpartum

Women who suffer with psychotic conditions who become pregnant are usually treated with antipsychotic drugs. The risks of harm to the offspring associated with exposure to these drugs, in utero or through breast‐feeding, are unknown. We aimed to find good quality evidence from randomised controlled trials on the risks and benefits of antipsychotic drugs during pregnancy and breastfeeding for both the woman and the foetus/infant. We found none. Ethical constraints concerning randomisation of treatment for pregnant and breastfeeding women, the logistics of such a study and a lack of impetus from the pharmaceutical industry in this area may explain the lack of research. However, the continued use of antipsychotic drugs in these women during pregnancy and lactation without sound evidence raises serious clinical and ethical concerns.

Patient‐held clinical information for people with psychotic illnesses

User‐held information is where the ill person holds personal information about their care. Such records are becoming the norm in many settings and are becoming more popular with patients. This is especially the case where the person concerned is not in hospital and receives care from more than one professional. Providing people with information about their care is thought to increase their feelings of involvement in their treatment and aims to increase people’s satisfaction and participation with services, ensure early treatment and prevent hospital admission.

Brain imaging for diagnosing schizophrenia in people with first episode psychosis

Schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder which involves psychotic symptoms such as distortions in thought and perception, blunted affect, and behavioural disturbances. It is important for patients who have a first episode of psychosis to be correctly diagnosed as soon as possible. The earlier schizophrenia is diagnosed the better the treatment outcome. However, other diseases sometimes have similar psychotic symptoms as schizophrenia, for example bipolar disorder. This review looks at how accurate a type of brain imaging technique called voxel‐based morphology (VBM) is at diagnosing schizophrenia in people who have a first episode of psychosis. VBM is used to measure differences in the structure of the brain in people with different types of psychosis. These differences could be used to make a diagnosis.

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Summaries for consumers

Antipsychotic drugs for non‐affective psychosis during pregnancy and postpartum

Women who suffer with psychotic conditions who become pregnant are usually treated with antipsychotic drugs. The risks of harm to the offspring associated with exposure to these drugs, in utero or through breast‐feeding, are unknown. We aimed to find good quality evidence from randomised controlled trials on the risks and benefits of antipsychotic drugs during pregnancy and breastfeeding for both the woman and the foetus/infant. We found none. Ethical constraints concerning randomisation of treatment for pregnant and breastfeeding women, the logistics of such a study and a lack of impetus from the pharmaceutical industry in this area may explain the lack of research. However, the continued use of antipsychotic drugs in these women during pregnancy and lactation without sound evidence raises serious clinical and ethical concerns.

Patient‐held clinical information for people with psychotic illnesses

User‐held information is where the ill person holds personal information about their care. Such records are becoming the norm in many settings and are becoming more popular with patients. This is especially the case where the person concerned is not in hospital and receives care from more than one professional. Providing people with information about their care is thought to increase their feelings of involvement in their treatment and aims to increase people’s satisfaction and participation with services, ensure early treatment and prevent hospital admission.

Brain imaging for diagnosing schizophrenia in people with first episode psychosis

Schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder which involves psychotic symptoms such as distortions in thought and perception, blunted affect, and behavioural disturbances. It is important for patients who have a first episode of psychosis to be correctly diagnosed as soon as possible. The earlier schizophrenia is diagnosed the better the treatment outcome. However, other diseases sometimes have similar psychotic symptoms as schizophrenia, for example bipolar disorder. This review looks at how accurate a type of brain imaging technique called voxel‐based morphology (VBM) is at diagnosing schizophrenia in people who have a first episode of psychosis. VBM is used to measure differences in the structure of the brain in people with different types of psychosis. These differences could be used to make a diagnosis.

See all (120)

More about Psychosis

Photo of an adult woman

See Also: Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia

Other terms to know:
Hallucinations, Paranoia

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