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Psychosis: Symptoms of a Psychotic Episode

The National Alliance on Mental Health characterizes psychosis as “disruptions to a person’s thoughts and perceptions that make it difficult for them to recognize what is real and what isn’t.” It is not a illness in its own right, but rather a symptom of mental disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Each year, approximately 100,000 Americans experience a psychotic episode, which can include symptoms such as seeing, hearing or believing things that aren’t real or exhibiting erratic behaviors or emotions. If you’re concerned that you or a loved one may be suffering from psychosis, the following are 12 common signs to be mindful of.

1. Delusions

Delusions are among the most common symptoms of a psychotic episode. When experiencing delusions, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health says that a person “may be truly convinced of a belief that is not shared by others, and even the most logical argument cannot change his or her mind.”

Although delusions are often unique to a specific individual, common ones include the belief that they are being watched or followed (delusions of paranoia), that they possess special powers or abilities (grandiose delusions), or that they are suffering from a terminal illness when they are actually healthy (somatic delusions).

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