Not having a grip on reality can be scary. Not knowing what is real or who you can trust is a disorienting feeling. Psychosis can show up at any time and often catches the sufferer off guard. In the U.S., approximately 100,000 young people experience psychosis each year. As many as 3 in 100 people will have an episode at some point in their lives. It is more common than most believe. However, there are many misconceptions about what psychosis is.

What is Psychosis

Psychosis is a symptom of a mental health disorder and not an illness itself. It often shows up in disorders like Schizophrenia and Bipolar but can even present during depressive episodes. Psychosis has been described as disturbances in an individual’s thoughts and perceptions that make it difficult for them to differentiate between what is real and what is not.

Psychosis Causes

Several factors are involved in the development of Psychosis. Studies show genetics, physical injury, trauma, substance abuse and/or mental health disorders are among the potential causes. Due to hormonal changes in the brain during puberty, teenagers and young adults are at increased risk of experiencing a psychosis episode.

Psychosis Signs and Symptoms

Some common signs and symptoms include:

  • Hallucinations – Auditory (hearing things), Visual (seeing things), Tactile (feeling things), Olfactory (smelling things).
  • Delusions – Believing things that are false to be true like external forces are controlling thoughts, feelings and behaviors.
  • Talking incoherently
  • Agitation
  • Disorganized thoughts and behaviors
  • Repetitive movements


Treatment early on, typically during the first psychotic break, increases the person’s chances of favorable outcomes. Treatment could involve the prescription of psychotropic medications, life skills training, and psychotherapy. In some instances a person may become unable to care for themselves. At which point hospitalization may become a viable option.

Ridgeview Institute is here to help. We have the expertise and experience to help you and your loved one navigate this challenging time.



Ridgeview Institute Monroe is here to help you navigate your journey to wellness. We offer 24/7 free assessments in our facility for your convenience. If you or a loved one is struggling, please contact us for more information.