Psychosis is a state of consciousness and experience during which one cannot separate thoughts and sensations from reality. Many of the more severe and longer-term mental disorders involve psychotic symptoms. On the other hand, people not suffering from a mental disorder may experience psychotic symptoms, such as hear voices, in connection to a shocking, isolated incident. This so-called reactive psychosis is short-term and temporary.
Psychosis may include various hallucinations, of which auditory hallucinations are the most common. People in psychosis may also imagine seeing different things or they may believe in things that have not actually happened. For example, they may think someone close to them is accusing them of something or they may believe to have caused some kind of accident that in fact has not happened. These scary and strange sensations may force them to withdraw from social interaction into their own world.
Despite the psychotic symptoms, they may have resources and abilities that allow them to lead a normal, everyday life. In addition, psychotic symptoms usually come in periods, meaning that people suffering from a mental disorder, which includes psychotic symptoms, are not in psychosis constantly.
Helping a psychotic person
A person in psychosis must receive professional help as soon as possible because he/she need proper medication and other treatment to prevent the deterioration and prolongation of the symptoms. Psychotic individuals should be instructed to seek help in the nearest psychiatric emergency clinic; it is preferrable, though, that someone accompany him/her to the clinic.
Sometimes persons in psychosis refuse to seek help as they are afraid as a result of their delusions, or they may not understand that they need help. If this is the case, the Telephone Health Service should be contacted; they will provide further information on how to proceed in a situation like this. If the psychotic person begins to behave in a particularly incoherent manner or he/she becomes a danger to himself/herself or to the people around, the public emergency number 112 may be contacted.