People experiencing psychosis have lost touch with reality. They often need treatment to prevent their mental health condition from getting worse. Psychosis can occur as a side effect of:

  • Substance abuse
  • Certain medications
  • Many medical conditions
  • Mental health conditions like schizophrenia and major depression

Residential treatment for psychosis begins with a comprehensive assessment. Our medical team determines the root cause of the problem and diagnoses all co-occurring conditions. We create a treatment plan that addresses underlying causes. This way, you are not just recovering from your psychosis symptoms. You are also getting help for the conditions that might be fueling psychosis. You can learn to manage your mental illness with:

  • Expert consultation from psychiatric staff
  • Evidence-based psychological therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Medication such as antipsychotic drugs, as clinically appropriate
    • Common typical antipsychotic medicines include Haldol (haloperidol), Thorazine (chlorpromazine) and Serentil (mesoridazine)
    • Common atypical antipsychotic medications include Abilify (aripiprazole), Seroquel (quetiapine) and Zyprexa (olanzapine)

What Is Psychosis?

Psychosis is defined as a brief loss of contact with reality. Generally, psychosis includes inaccurate or false beliefs about what is taking place or who one is (delusions). It can also include seeing things or hearing voices that aren’t there (hallucinations). There are different types of delusions including grandiose, jealous and paranoid delusions.

Medical conditions can cause psychosis. Examples include:

  • young african american man leans against concrete wall at a brief psychotic disorder treatment centerBrain diseases
  • Cysts and tumors
  • Dementia
  • Epilepsy
  • HIV
  • Prescription drugs (such as steroids and stimulants)
  • Stroke

Psychosis may also affect people with:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Severe depression
  • Certain personality disorders
  • Schizophrenia

Many drugs can cause psychotic episodes. These include marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and LSD.

Some types of psychosis include:

  • Brief psychosis
  • Delusions
  • Schizoaffective disorder
  • Schizophrenia (note: Schizophrenia causes psychosis but also has other symptoms.)

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 2.2 million people in the U.S. have schizophrenia. The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that schizoaffective disorder affects about one in every 100 people. The prevalence of delusional disorder is estimated to be around 0.03%.

Warning Signs You May Need Psychosis Treatment

Psychosis symptoms vary by person, situation and incident. Symptoms of psychosis can be different for someone experiencing a psychotic episode for the first time versus someone who regularly experiences psychosis. You may need residential treatment for psychosis if you are experiencing some of the below symptoms:

Delusions – Grandiose beliefs about your power, influence or abilities and/or suspicions that others are out to harm you. A person maintains these beliefs despite evidence to the contrary.

Hallucinations – Seeing, smelling, hearing, tasting or feeling that something or someone is present that is not.

Confusion – Experiencing confusing and disturbing thought patterns. Symptoms of psychosis may include trouble speaking coherently, losing your train of thought, and rapid, confusing speech.

Emotional Changes – Extremes of being void of emotion or having inappropriate emotions.

Performance Issues – Decline in performance on the job, at school, at a sport or other regular activity.

Behavioral Changes – Exhibiting changes in behavior such as hostility, aggression, hypervigilance and restlessness.

Self-Care Changes – Abrupt negative changes in personal hygiene or self-care practices.

Isolation – Withdrawing from regular social activities and/or friends and family.

A medical professional can determine if you need residential treatment for psychosis.

About Brief Psychotic Disorder

Some of our clients have a form of psychosis called brief psychosis. This is a short-term illness with psychotic symptoms. Such symptoms of psychosis have a sudden onset but last for less than a month. After that, the individual usually recovers.

Three basic types of brief psychosis or brief psychotic illness include:

  • Brief psychotic disorder with obvious stressor (also called brief reactive psychosis) – Occurs shortly after and often as a response to a major stress or trauma. Examples include the death of a loved one, an assault, an accident or a natural disaster. Most brief psychotic illnesses occur as the result of a very disturbing event.
  • Brief psychotic disorder without obvious stressor – No obvious stress or trauma triggers the illness.
  • Brief psychotic disorder with postpartum onset – Occurs in women, usually within four weeks of giving birth.

Symptoms of Brief Psychosis

Brief psychosis, or brief reactive psychosis, has the following symptoms:

  • False beliefs that the person refuses to give up, even in the face of facts to the contrary (delusions)
  • Sensory perceptions (hallucinations) of things that aren’t there. Examples include:
    • Hearing voices
    • Seeing things that aren’t there
    • Feeling sensations on the skin although nothing is present or touching the body
  • Disorganized speech, as in frequent loss of train of thought or incoherence
  • Memory problems
  • Confusion
  • Disorganized thinking
  • Inability to make decisions
  • Unusual behavior and dress
  • Changes in eating or sleeping habits, weight or energy level
  • Disorganized or catatonic (unresponsive) behavior

Brief psychosis lasts at least one day but less than one month. People usually return to a previous level of functioning within one month. If an individual is still exhibiting symptoms consistent with brief psychosis after a month has passed, a diagnosis of schizophrenia may be considered. Other diagnoses might include schizoaffective disorder or a mood disorder with psychotic features.

Causes of Brief Psychotic Disorder

The exact cause of brief psychosis is unknown. There are a couple of theories about its origin. One theory suggests a genetic link. The disorder is more common among family members with mood disorders such as bipolar disorder or depression.

Another theory is that psychosis stems from poor coping skills. In essence, this is a defense due to a stressful or frightening situation. The individual experiencing the stress or fear may then be vulnerable to developing brief psychotic disorder.

In most cases, brief psychosis is triggered by a traumatic event or major life stress. It is believed that childbirth can trigger the illness in women.

Brief psychosis generally first occurs in early adulthood (20s and 30s). It is more common among women than men. People with a personality disorder, such as paranoid personality disorder or antisocial personality disorder, are more prone to developing brief psychotic disorder.

Why Residential Treatment for Psychosis?

If you’re struggling with psychosis, residential treatment may be the most effective option for you. This is especially true if you have co-occurring disorders like substance abuse. In residential psychosis treatment, you can expect:

  • Round-the-clock care in a highly structured environment
  • Space and time to focus on healing, without distractions
  • Expert psychiatric care and antipsychotic medication, if needed
  • Personalized treatment based on your specific needs
  • Mental health professionals who provide comprehensive assessments and address underlying causes to get to the root of your challenges
  • Close supervision and monitoring to ensure your safety
  • Wide range of evidence-based and alternative therapies to find what works best for you
  • A supportive network of mental health professionals and other clients who understand what you’re going through
  • Comprehensive aftercare planning

Life Can Be Better

Get the expert mental health and addiction treatment you need to get back on track. Call our recovery advisors today for a free, confidential consultation: 1.713.528.3709.

Posted on July 21, 2017 and modified on April 27, 2019