Recognizing Psychosis Symptoms

November 12, 2012

Recognizing Psychosis Symptoms

Handling psychosis symptoms can be difficult to handle as a person loses their ability to tell the difference between what is real and what is not.

People suffering from psychosis symptoms are commonly called psychotic. It is important to realize that many individuals will have at least one psychotic episode throughout their lifetime. Even though a person may experience one episode, there is no need to believe that they will forever be plagued by psychosis symptoms. They can be brought on by stressful events, pregnancy, neurological disorders, or severe physical conditions affecting the nervous system.

Common Psychosis Symptoms

A variety of conditions can cause mental disturbances. Psychosis symptoms can be tricky to recognize because psychosis is normally a symptom of another underlying problem. There are four main elements of a psychotic episode:

  • Delusions

  • Lack of self-awareness

  • Disturbing and confusing thoughts

  • Hallucinations


Delusions are beliefs not based in reality. In other words, the person wholly believes in something which simply cannot be true or plausible. Delusions of grandeur and paranoid thoughts are two main types of delusions which may appear among psychosis symptoms. Delusions of grandeur occur when individuals think that they are a leading authoritative figure or think that they posses some type of amazing power. On the other hand, paranoid delusions can lead to extremely stressful and tense situations as the person believes that other people are “out to get them.” Delusions can have varying intensities so it’s important to notice when a person begins saying strange things or acting odd.

Lack of self-awareness:

This comes from the inability to recognize that there is a problem. People may be completely unaware that their hallucinations are simply hallucinations or that their delusions are false. In some cases, they may be able to tell that other people are acting strange, but for whatever reason are unable to recognize their own strange behaviors or thoughts.

Disturbing and confusing thoughts:

Disturbed thought patterns are not uncommon among people experiencing a psychotic episode. The easiest way to tell that someone is having disrupted thought patterns is look for:

  • Sudden stops and pauses during activities or conversations

  • Conversations may jump to new topics mid sentence

  • The person talks quickly without pausing


This is one of the most noticeable of the psychosis symptoms. Hallucinations are perceptions that are false. While a person may believe it is real, the event is not actually taking place. It can be very disconcerting to the sufferer and the people around them. Hallucinations can affect any of the senses:

  • Touch- A person may feel as if bugs are moving all over the skin.

  • Sight- These hallucinations can range greatly from seeing simply colors to seeing imaginary people. In some cases, the hallucinations will act as intelligent beings.

  • Taste- While this is not a common complaint, individuals have complained of strange or bad tastes in the mouth. Then again, it is hard to verify whether or not there actually is a bad taste.

  • Hearing- An individual may complain about voices talking to them in a range of emotions.

  • Smell- Unusual or strange smells bothering the person.

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