Psychosis is a disturbance in a person’s ability to take in information from the outside world and make sense of it. Children or adults can have psychosis. Psychosis is not a disorder but rather a symptom that can happen in many disorders. Some disorders, such as depression or bipolar disorder, can happen with or without psychosis. Schizophrenia always has psychosis as a symptom. Intoxication with street drugs can produce a temporary psychosis.

There are three main symptoms of psychosis:

  • Hallucinations – hearing or seeing things that are not there, as if your mind is playing tricks on you
  • Delusions – beliefs that are impossible or unrealistic
  • Irrational behavior – difficulty organizing thoughts and actions into something that others can understand.

For additional information on psychosis, see the Resources section.