Loss of Contact With Reality
September 20, 2010 § Leave a comment
Psychosis (from the Greek ψυχή “psyche”, for mind/soul, and -ωσις “-osis”, for abnormal condition) means abnormal condition of the mind, and is a generic psychiatric term for a mental state often described as involving a “loss of contact with reality”. People suffering from psychosis are described as psychotic.
People experiencing psychosis may report hallucinations or delusional beliefs, and may exhibit personality changes and thought disorder. Depending on its severity, this may be accompanied by unusual or bizarre behavior, as well as difficulty with social interaction and impairment in carrying out the daily life activities.
A wide variety of central nervous system diseases, from both external poisons and internal physiologic illness, can produce symptoms of psychosis.
However, many people have unusual and unshared (distinct) experiences of what they perceive to be different realities without fitting the clinical definition of psychosis. For example, many people in the general population have experienced hallucinations related to religious or paranormal experience. As a result, it has been argued that psychosis is simply an extreme state of consciousness that falls beyond the norms experienced by most. In this view, people who are clinically found to be psychotic may simply be having particularly intense or distressing experiences.
Are you one of the many people in the general population?