What is Psychosis?

Psychosis is a symptom of serious mental disorders which affect thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. People with psychosis have an altered perception and sense of reality with a breakdown in communication. 

 

Symptoms

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders  (DSM-5) there are five characteristic symptom dimensions in schizophrenia.

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorganized Speech
  • Disorganized Behavior
  • Negative Symptoms

 

Heterogenity

Schizophrenic psychoses are aetiologically complex disorders that affect about 1-2% of the population during their lifetime. The clinical symptom presentation varies greatly between psychosis patients with identical diagnoses and there is a marked inconsistency in findings regarding associated biological disease markers, including structural and functional neuroimaging substrates. Accordingly, it has been suggested that psychoses are best conceptualized as a set of heterogeneous conditions with multiple distinct underlying pathophysiological processes that give rise to the diverse psychopathological symptoms. The heterogeneity of the psychosis phenotype is being regarded as a major obstacle in the identification of biological mechanisms.