The following guide is for informational purposes only and not intended to diagnose or give medical advice.
What is Psychosis?
Psychosis is a symptom, not an illness, and is characterized as disruptions to a person’s thoughts and perceptions that make it difficult for them to recognize what is real and what isn’t. These disruptions are often experienced as seeing, hearing and believing things that aren’t real or having strange, persistent thoughts, behaviors and emotions.
Illnesses that Include Psychosis
All people are different, so your symptoms may vary, but this is a list of possible symptoms of psychosis.
Symptoms of Psychosis & Psychotic Illnesses
Brief Psychotic Disorder
(NAMI, https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions/Psychosis; WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/schizophrenia/guide/what-is-psychosis; Psych Guides, https://www.psychguides.com/psychotic-disorders/; NHS, https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/post-partum-psychosis/; NIMH, https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/schizophrenia)
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) & CBTp
CBT is an effective treatment for some people with mood disorders. With more serious conditions, including those with psychosis, additional cognitive therapy is added to basic CBT (CBTp). CBTp helps people develop coping strategies for persistent symptoms that do not respond to medicine.
Used to help a person process his experience and to support him in coping while living with schizophrenia. It is not designed to uncover childhood experiences or activate traumatic experiences, but is rather focused on the here and now.
Cognitive Enhancement Therapy (CET)
Works to promote cognitive functioning and confidence in one’s cognitive ability. CET involves a combination of computer based brain training and group sessions. This is an active area of research in the field at this time.
Assertive Community Treatment (ACT)
ACT provides comprehensive treatment for people with serious mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia. The key elements of ACT include a multidisciplinary team, including a medication prescriber, a shared caseload among team members, direct service provision by team members, a high frequency of patient contact, low patient to staff ratios, and outreach to patients in the community.
First Generation (typical) Antipsychotics
These medications can cause serious movement problems that can be short (dystonia) or long term (called tardive dyskinesia), and also muscle stiffness
Second Generation (atypical) Antipsychotics
These medications are called atypical because they are less likely to block dopamine and cause movement disorders. They do, however, increase the risk of weight gain and diabetes.
Used to help manage depression. See our Depression Guide.
Used to control manic or hypomanic episodes. See our Bipolar Guide.
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
In ECT, electrical currents are passed through the brain to impact the function and effect of neurotransmitters in your brain to relieve depression. ECT is usually used for people who don't get better with medications, can't take antidepressants for health reasons or are at high risk of suicide.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS)
TMS may be an option for those who haven't responded to antidepressants. During TMS, a treatment coil placed against your scalp sends brief magnetic pulses to stimulate nerve cells in your brain that are involved in mood regulation and depression.
(NAMI, https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions/Schizophrenia/Treatment; NIMH, https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/schizophrenia; WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/understanding-depression-treatment#091e9c5e80007ad6-1-2)
For a comprehensive list of McFarlin books about psychosis consult our library catalog. Some ebooks may require you sign into the library system before viewing; you will be automatically prompted if a login is necessary.
For a comprehensive list of McFarlin databases consult our A-Z Database List. Databases may require you sign into the library system before viewing; you will be automatically prompted if a login is necessary.
You may want to get help for psychosis if it begins to interfere with your ability to function, such as eat, study, and have fun. Early psychosis intervention is important. TU has counselors who would love to help you navigate psychosis.
This site provides information about and contact information for TU's Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).
If you are having a mental health crisis, the following sites provide help:
Call or text 988 - Oklahoma's statewide mental health lifeline