Basically, psychosis is a loss of contact with reality. It may take many different forms, or a number of these forms coming together. A patient may see something taking place, but instead of recognizing it for what it is, they see it as something quite different.
For instance, they may see a man walking across the grass in front of their window. Everyone else sees this, but they see the person with wings, flying across a meadow.
I knew of one man who had this fixation on snakes. He was extremely gentle, but every morning he used to go out on his snake hunt. Then he'd come running in to me, (why me, I don't know!), and 'show' me his snake. He'd point out the markings in great detail and then rush off to put it back in its hole in the ground.
The symptoms of the condition are as follows:
* Abnormal displays of emotion.
* Depressive and suicidal thoughts.
* Disorganized thoughts and speech.
* Mania, (extreme excitement).
* False beliefs, (delusions).
* Loss of touch with reality.
* Mistaken perceptions.
* Seeing, hearing feeling or perceiving things that aren't there, (hallucinations).
* Unfounded fear and/or suspicion.
Now, on top of all this, some poor people have major depressive disorder with psychotic features thrown at them. This, together with psychosis, is a singularly nasty condition in which not only do they have reduced contact with reality, they also have to suffer major, or clinical, depression. Things may run riot in such a state, because they can suffer all forms of false beliefs, (delusions), or seeing and hearing things that aren't really there, (hallucinations).
What may often happen is that they start to hear voices that criticize them, telling them that they aren't good enough, that they really ought to kill themselves. A quick look at the possible causes of psychosis are;
* Alcohol and certain drugs.
* Brain tumors.
* Bipolar disorder.
* Psychotic depression.
Interestingly enough, though, there are people who don't fit the clinical definition of psychosis, but who seem to experience different realities. People in the general population have had religious experiences and of course we've all heard about the ones who insist they've been taken up to a space ship and either had experiments carried out on them, or have been impregnated by aliens and given birth to alien babies.
Because of all these experiences, it's been posited that psychosis is simply an extreme state of consciousness that falls outside what most of us would understand as normal