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Psychosis

Psychosis is a generic psychiatric term for a mental state in which thought and perception are severely impaired. Persons experiencing a psychotic episode may experience hallucinations, hold delusional beliefs (e.g., grandiose or paranoid delusions), demonstrate personality changes and exhibit disorganized thinking (see thought disorder). This is often accompanied by lack of insight into the unusual or bizarre nature of such behavior, difficulties with social interaction and impairments in carrying out the activities of daily living. A psychotic episode is often described as involving a "loss of contact with reality".

Psychosis is considered by mainstream psychiatry to be a symptom of severe mental illness, but is not a diagnosis in itself. Although it is not exclusively linked to any particular psychological or physical state, it is particularly associated with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder (manic depression) and severe clinical depression. There are also detectable physical pathologies that can induce a psychotic state, including brain injury or other neurological disorder, drug intoxication and withdrawal (especially alcohol, barbiturates, and some...

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