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What Is The Difference Between Psychosis And Schizophrenia

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How To Diagnose Psychosis Vs Schizophrenia

What is Psychosis? Explaining Schizophrenia and Debunking Myths

Psychosis is a symptom, not an illness, so your doctor can help you to diagnose what has caused your psychotic episode. They will give you a physical exam and ask you about your family history to determine if the cause is medical.

If your doctor suspects a medical cause, they may order further testing to pinpoint the root of your psychosis. The cause could be a mental illness, in which case a mental health professional can provide treatment.

Diagnosing schizophrenia is more difficult since there is no single test to check for it. Many people who are diagnosed with schizophrenia refuse to believe that they have it, causing further problems with treatment. If you have two or more of the following symptoms, your doctor may diagnose you:

Identifying and treating psychosis and schizophrenia as early as possible usually leads to the best outcome.

No One Is Diagnosed With Just Psychosis

No one is diagnosed with just psychosis. For instance, my son has been diagnosed with severe depression with some psychosis and later he was diagnosed with Bipolar II with some psychosis. Others have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder with some psychosis. As you can see, psychosis is a symptom of various mental illnesses. I hope these examples help you to begin to understand the difference between psychosis and schizophrenia.

How Is It Treated And Is There A Cure

Schizophrenia isnt curable, but it is often treatable. In a small percentage of cases, people can recover from schizophrenia entirely. However, this isnt a cure because there isnt a way of knowing who will have a relapse of this condition and who wont. Because of that, experts consider those who recover from this condition in remission.

Treating schizophrenia usually involves a combination of medication, therapy and self-management techniques. While therapy alone is often effective for treating most mental health conditions, managing schizophrenia usually requires medication. Early diagnosis and treatment are important because they increase the chances of a better outcome.

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Chronic Meth Psychosis Vs Schizophrenia

The profiles of acute METH psychosis, persistent METH psychosis and schizophrenia have also been compared. Chen et al. examined the positive symptoms experienced by those with acute METH psychosis , persistent METH psychosis and schizophrenia using the PANNS. Those with persistent METH psychosis and schizophrenia demonstrated comparable severity and frequency of positive symptoms, and both of these groups had PANNS scores that were significantly higher than those in the acute METH psychosis group. These findings may suggest that those with acute METH psychosis may not experience positive symptoms to the same frequency and severity as those with schizophrenia and chronic METH psychosis. However, it should be noted that those in the acute METH group were abstinent for an average of 9 weeks at the time of assessment, and therefore, the results may not truly reflect the severity of these symptoms experienced at the time of their psychotic episodes.

Who Does It Affect

Delusional Disorder Vs Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia typically starts at different ages, depending on sex. It usually starts between ages 15 and 25 for men and between 25 and 35 for women. It also tends to affect men and women in equal numbers.

Schizophrenia in children, especially before age 18, is possible but rare. However, these cases are usually very severe. Earlier onset tends to lead to a more severe, harder-to-treat condition.

About 20% of new schizophrenia cases occur in people over age 45. These cases tend to happen more in women. Delusion symptoms are stronger in these cases, with less-severe negative symptoms and effects on the ability to think and focus.

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Malignant Or Lethal Catatonia Behavior

Malignant or lethal catatonia is often associated with the excited type. It can lead to autonomic dysregulation , and altered levels of consciousness.

This type of catatonia can be lethal and requires immediate medical attention. Its behaviors and symptoms include:

Sometimes catatonia involves a refusal to eat. This can lead to malnourishment and dehydrationthese aren’t necessarily symptoms of catatonia, but they are consequences of some catatonic behaviors.

People with catatonia may seem to be unaware of their surroundings. Sometimes people who recover from catatonia report that they recall and were completely aware during their catatonic state.

What Medications Or Treatments Are Used

Treating schizophrenia and related conditions typically involves multiple methods. Those methods can happen in combinations or steps.


There are two main types of medications that treat schizophrenia.

  • Typical antipsychotics. Also known as first-generation antipsychotics, these medications block how your brain uses dopamine, a chemical your brain uses for cell-to-cell communication.
  • Atypical antipsychotics. These medications, also called second-generation antipsychotics, work differently from first-generation antipsychotics. These block both dopamine and serotonin, two key communication chemicals in your brain. Clozapine is a particularly effective medication that can treat symptoms of schizophrenia when other drugs dont work. However, it has a rare serious side effect that requires frequent blood monitoring to keep people safe, which is why healthcare providers usually recommend other antipsychotics first.

There are other medications your healthcare provider might also prescribe to treat other symptoms that happen alongside or because of your schizophrenia symptoms. They might also prescribe medications to help reduce side effects of antipsychotic medications such as tremors.

In general, your healthcare provider is the best person to talk to about the medications they might prescribe. They can give you more specific information related to your specific situation, including your life circumstances, medical history and personal preferences.


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What Are The Warning Signs Of Psychosis

The early warning signs of psychosis usually arent easy to spot. They can take different forms depending on the cause of the psychosis itself, and they can sometimes appear days or even weeks before other symptoms.

Some common early warning signs of schizophrenia a condition that always involves some form of psychosis include:

  • Changes in emotions .
  • Changes in behaviors .
  • Changes in socialization .

Is Someone With Psychosis Dangerous

Depression vs. Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia – How To Tell The Difference

People who experience psychosis can sometimes behave in ways that put themselves or others at risk. You should go to the nearest emergency room or call 911 if you have thoughts about harming yourself, including thoughts of suicide or about harming others. If you have thoughts like this, then you can call any of the following:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline . To call this line, dial 1.800.273.TALK .
  • Local crisis lines. Mental health organizations and centers in your area may offer resources and help through crisis lines.
  • 911 . You should call 911 if you feel like youre in immediate danger of harming yourself. Operators and dispatchers for 911 lines can often help people in immediate danger because of a severe mental crisis and send first responders to assist.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Psychosis is a word commonly used often incorrectly to describe various mental health conditions or issues. The correct use of psychosis refers to a collection of symptoms, including delusions and hallucinations, which happen when a person experiences a disconnection from reality. These symptoms can happen for a wide range of reasons, from mental health conditions to injuries to infections. While these symptoms can be concerning for the person having them or for the people around them, its often possible to effectively treat these symptoms. In some cases, these symptoms can stop with treatment of whatever is causing them, or the underlying cause.


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What Is The Difference Between Schizophrenia And Psychosis

Schizophrenia and psychosis are two strongly connected terms, but they also have significant differences.

  • Psychosis: This is a grouping of symptoms that involve a disconnection from reality and the world around you . Psychosis can happen with other medical conditions and mental health disorders, such as bipolar disorder.
  • Schizophrenia: This is a spectrum of conditions that involve psychotic symptoms.

Articles On Schizophrenia Overview

Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe mental disorder that affects the way a person thinks, acts, expresses emotions, perceives reality, and relates to others. Though schizophrenia isnât as common as other major mental illnesses, it can be the most chronic and disabling.

People with schizophrenia often have problems doing well in society, at work, at school, and in relationships. They might feel frightened and withdrawn, and could appear to have lost touch with reality. This lifelong disease canât be cured but can be controlled with proper treatment.

Contrary to popular belief, schizophrenia is not a split or multiple personality. Schizophrenia involves a psychosis, a type of mental illness in which a person canât tell whatâs real from whatâs imagined. At times, people with psychotic disorders lose touch with reality. The world may seem like a jumble of confusing thoughts, images, and sounds. Their behavior may be very strange and even shocking. A sudden change in personality and behavior, which happens when people who have it lose touch with reality, is called a psychotic episode.

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Losing Contact With Reality Is A Major Feature

Psychotic disorders are mental health illnesses characterized by an impaired relationship with reality, usually with associated behavioral changes. There are several different psychotic disorders, and they each have diagnostic criteria described in the fifth edition of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” .

Psychotic disorders can be highly distressing, impacting a persons quality of life and ability to maintain self-care. However, most of these conditions can be managed with medication and therapy.

If you or a loved one is diagnosed with a psychotic disorder, its important that you maintain consistent psychiatric care to help reduce the effects of your disorder on your life.

The different types of psychotic disorders are:

Schizophrenia Vs Mood Disorders With Psychotic Features


The big question when someone is experiencing psychotic symptoms and mood symptoms is whether they have a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia with mood features or a mood disorder with psychotic features. Heres why:

  • Schizophrenias negative symptoms are very much like depression.
  • Schizophrenias positive symptoms, such as disorganized behavior, can look a lot like bipolar mania.
  • In their extreme forms, both depression and bipolar disorder can have psychotic features.

For the most effective treatment, doctors and the individuals who are living with the disorder must decide between:

Timing is key. If mood symptoms occur only during a psychotic episode, then the diagnosis is schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. If the mood symptoms occur on their own but sometimes are accompanied by psychotic features, the diagnosis is a mood disorder.

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Based On A True Story No Letting Go Support For Psychosis

In the movie based on a true story, No Letting Go, Tims therapist explained when a person has a lot of worries, they can collect over time turning into junk thoughts that cause anxiety and other disorders. It is similar to eating too much junk food that makes us sick to our stomachs. Likewise, our brain can get sick from too many junk thoughts if we dont share and process our worries with someone we trust.

What Are The Differences Between Psychosis Vs Schizophrenia

Psychosis is a term used to describe psychological conditions that involve some kind of loss of contact with reality. Schizophrenia is a psychological condition that involves periods of psychosis.

While psychosis is a major part of schizophrenia and its diagnostic criteria, it is possible for someone to experience psychosis and not have schizophrenia or any other psychological condition.

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Schizophrenia Vs Psychosis: The Symptoms

Psychosis isnt a mental disorder by itself. Instead, specific features define the experience we call psychosis. The psychotic symptoms include:

  • Inability to think clearly or put thoughts together coherently
  • Rapid, racing thoughts
  • Confused speech
  • Disorganized behavior
  • Catatonic behavior

In psychosis, not all of these need be present. Hallucinations and/or delusions are almost always part of psychosis.

In schizophrenia, psychosis is the first criteria that must be met for a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Without psychosis, there is no schizophrenia. However, psychosis alone does not comprise schizophrenia. To have schizophrenia, someone must also experience other symptoms:

  • Negative symptoms negative features are prominent
  • Level of functioning is greatly disrupted

The difference between psychosis and schizophrenia is that psychosis refers to symptoms and can be part of many things. Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that includes the symptoms of psychosis.

Retarded Or Akinetic Catatonia Behavior

Schizophrenia vs. Schizophreniform vs. Schizoaffective vs. Schizoid vs. Schizotypal

Retarded or akinetic catatonia is characterized by slowed movements or a lack of movement. A person with retarded catatonia may appear frozen in place and may not respond to questions, loud noises, or visual stimuli.

Interactions may involve copying the words or movement patterns of whoever they are speaking with.

Behaviors characteristic of this type can include:

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Difference Between Psychosis And Schizophrenia

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Psychosis is part of schizophrenia, and it can be part of other psychiatric disorders, too.

How Is Psychosis Treated

Treatment is most effective when psychosis is identified and treated early. The treatment of psychosis typically includes a combination of the following:

  • Medications. Antipsychotic medications can help to reduce the symptoms of psychosis. These medications can be given as either a pill or an injection.
  • Therapy. Therapy for psychosis often consists of cognitive behavioral therapy provided by a mental health professional. It may be provided in an individual or group setting. CBT in this case is specifically tailored to symptoms of psychosis or schizophrenia.
  • Family support. Family members are also key in treating psychosis. Its important for them to learn more about psychosis and how to interact effectively and empathetically with their loved one.
  • Social support. Someone experiencing psychosis may benefit from social skills training or help with returning to work or school.

Additionally, since a variety of other underlying conditions can also cause psychosis, working to manage those conditions can also help to ease symptoms.

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Difference Between Schizophrenia And Psychosis

If you feel you are suffering from psychosis or schizophrenia, it is very important that you seek medical attention. Through early detection, you will have a greater chance of having a better life.

In Summary:

  • With psychosis, self-control will be less than in a person with schizophrenia.
  • Self-awareness will be lower in people with psychosis.
  • The duration of psychosis occurs between days and weeks while schizophrenia occurs for life.
  • The treatment for psychosis is anti-psychosis medication while for schizophrenia there are numerous options.

Schizophrenia Is A Diagnosable Mental Disorder

Brief Psychotic Disorder Vs Schizophrenia

Unlike psychosis, which can have many different causes, schizophrenia is a condition listed in the DSM-5 by the American Psychiatric Association.

To be diagnosed with schizophrenia, patients must have psychotic symptoms like delusions and hallucinations, but this is just one part of the complete picture.

People with schizophrenia vs. psychosis will also often display a lack of emotional expression and motivation and disorganized thought and speech patterns. They may also have unusual motor behaviors.

This interferes with a persons ability to function normally. An important part of making a schizophrenia diagnosis is the amount of time the symptoms have interfered with their ability to work, maintain social relationships, and even practice self-care. In general, the signs and symptoms must have persisted for at least six months since their onset.

To confirm that someone has schizophrenia, mental health professionals will also have to rule out other mental health concerns such as schizoaffective disorder and bipolar disorder that can mimic the signs at first glance.

For schizoaffective disorder, psychosis is an essential part of it. Still, there are also components of a mood disorder as well, and like bipolar disorder, this is another example of how psychotic symptoms dont always point to schizophrenia.

Additionally, professionals will also need to be sure that the psychosis is not due to a substance, especially chronic abuse, to diagnose schizophrenia.

Treating Psychosis

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Conflict Of Interest Statement

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest. The handling Editor declared a shared affiliation, though no other collaboration, with one of the authors TW at the time of the review.

What Types Of Psychosis Are There

This page covers:

  • seeing things that other people don’t
  • seeing objects that seem to be distorted or move in ways that they usually wouldn’t
  • experiencing tastes, smells and sensations that have no apparent cause
  • that other people don’t .

“I felt as though I was in wonderland. None of my family or friends understood why… I had a calling from a voice in sky. I was lost and lonely.”

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How Is Psychosis Related To Schizophrenia

An individual with schizophrenia can experience periods of psychosis. During this time, they may have hallucinations and delusions. The psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia are also called positive symptoms.

Antipsychotic medications are used to treat acute psychotic episodes in people with schizophrenia. Additionally, these medications can also be used as maintenance medications to help prevent symptoms from coming back.

A diagnosis of schizophrenia can sometimes follow a psychotic episode. However, schizophrenia has some additional symptoms as well as specific diagnostic criteria.

A person can experience psychosis without having schizophrenia or another mental health disorder. Psychosis can occur due to things like substance use, medical conditions, and certain medications.

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