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Psychosis - what is it?

The word psychosis is used to describe conditions that affect the mind, where there has been some loss of contact with reality. When someone becomes ill in this way it is called a psychotic episode. During a period of psychosis, a person’s thoughts and perceptions are disturbed and the individual may have difficulty understanding what is real and what is not.  Symptoms of psychosis include delusions (false beliefs) and hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that others do not see or hear). Other symptoms include incoherent or nonsense speech, and behavior that is inappropriate for the situation. A person in a psychotic episode may also experience depression, anxiety, sleep problems, social withdrawal, lack of motivation, and difficulty functioning overall. 

For more information about psychosis, please visit the Questions & Answers page:

Did you know that a 'first episode psychosis' can happen to almost anyone?   While an unknown predisposition may exist, life's circumstances may impact a person in such as way as to cause it.  If you know of someone experiencing psychotic behaviors for the first time, especially teenage to 30+, it's very important to get treatment immediately.   Admission to a First Episode Psychosis program, a multi-disciplinary approach, is recommended for the best outcome.  We are fortunate to have the following in the Boston area:

WRAP at Boston Medical Center:

RISE at Cambridge Health Alliance:


Other programs may be found here:

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