What are the Symptoms of Psychosis?

Hallucinations

  • Hallucinations are best described as deceptions or tricks played by the brain that involves the body’s senses. Hallucinations can be seen (visual), heard (auditory), felt (tactile), smelled (olfactory) or even tasted (gustatory).
  • Although, they may appear to be very real to the individual, they cannot be seen, heard, felt, smelled or tasted by another person.
  • Although, all 5 types of hallucinations can potentially occur with PD, visual hallucinations are by far the most common.
  • Auditory hallucinations are uncommon yet reported by a small percentage of patients.
  • Olfactory, tactile and gustatory forms are extremely rare in PD.
  • It is important to discuss all possible symptoms with your clinician, no matter how minor, rare or bizarre.
  • LOW dopamine levels cause PD symptoms
  • HIGH dopamine levels cause psychosis
Type of Hallucination Example (s)
Visual Seeing a furry creature run by your feet or seeing a deceased love one sitting in the room.
Olfactory Smelling an unpleasant odor that is not related to another source.
Tactile Feeling imaginary bugs crawling on your skin.
Gustatory Tasting a bitter or abnormal taste in your mouth that is not related to another source.
Auditory Perceiving voices or sounds that are not real.

2. Delusions

  • Delusions are defined as fixed thoughts or ideas that are often illogical, irrational and dysfunctional. 
  • The individual will wholeheartedly believe these thoughts or ideas even though they are not based on reality. 
  • There are many types of delusions. The most common types reported in PD are described below:
Type of Delusion Belief(s) Behavior
Jealousy The belief that your partner is unfaithful. Jealousy, false accusations, paranoia, aggression, social withdrawal
Persecutory The belief that you are being attacked, harassed, cheated and/or conspired against. Paranoia, suspiciousness, agitation, aggression, defiance, social withdrawal
Somatic The belief that your body functions in an abnormal manner or an unusual obsession with your body and/or health. Anxiety, agitation, reports of abnormal or unusual symptoms, extreme concern regarding symptoms, frequent visits with the clinician

 

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Mind, Mood and Memory

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How do I know if my loved one has experienced psychosis?

Medical content reviewed by: Nina Browner, MD—Medical Director of the NPF Center of Excellence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in North Carolina and by Fernando Pagan, MD—Medical Director of the NPF Center of Excellence at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C.

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