A psychotic break is a severe mental health deterioration that can include delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized thinking. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, it is important to seek professional help immediately. In the meantime, be on the lookout for changes in mood or behavior, withdrawal from loved ones, decreased personal hygiene, and other signs that could indicate a mental health crisis.
A psychotic break is a sudden onset of psychosis characterized by a loss of touch with reality. Psychosis can manifest itself in many ways, but some common signs and symptoms are worth watching out for.
Common Symptoms of a Psychotic Break
While it's important to remember that not all of these symptoms necessarily mean someone is experiencing a psychotic break, it's still important to be aware of them. If you or someone you know displays any of the following signs, it's important to seek professional help immediately.
1. Disorganized speech. One of the most common signs of a psychotic break is disorganized speech. This can manifest itself in several ways, such as talking very quickly without making sense, switching topics abruptly, or saying things that are completely unrelated to the conversation.
2. Disorganized thoughts. Along with disorganized speech, another common sign of a psychotic break is disorganized thinking. This can manifest as racing thoughts, difficulty concentrating, or an inability to think logically.
3. Delusions. A delusion is a false belief that someone holds on to despite evidence to the contrary. For example, someone experiencing delusions may believe that they are being followed by the FBI or that they have superpowers.
4. Hallucinations. Hallucinations are another common symptom of psychosis. Hallucinations can involve any five senses, but auditory hallucinations (hearing things that aren't really there) are the most common type experienced during a psychotic break.
5. Suspiciousness or paranoia. People who are experiencing a psychotic break may also become suspicious or paranoid toward those around them. They may believe that others are trying to hurt them or that everyone is out to get them.
6. Withdrawal from friends and family. Another sign that something may be wrong is if someone who normally enjoys spending time with others suddenly starts withdrawing and isolating themselves from loved ones.
7. Changes in mood or sleeping habits. Sudden mood or sleeping habits changes can also be symptomatic of a larger problem. For example, someone who is normally even-keeled may become unusually agitated or someone who normally sleeps soundly may start suffering from insomnia.
8. Lack of self-care. If someone who normally takes pride in their appearance starts neglecting their personal hygiene or stops caring about their appearance altogether, this could cause concern.
9. Difficulty functioning at work or school. A sudden decline in school or work performance can indicate a more serious problem. If someone who typically gets good grades suddenly starts getting poor grades or if they start missing work frequently, this could cause alarm.
10. Drug abuse. While drug use doesn't necessarily mean that someone is going through a mental health crisis, it can often be a symptom of one. If you're worried about someone close to you, pay attention to whether their drug use increases or changes in any way.
If you notice any of these changes in yourself or someone you know, it is important to seek professional help immediately. These changes could indicate a larger mental health issue, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. only a trained mental health professional can give you a proper diagnosis.
Help with a Psychotic Break
A psychotic break can be a frightening experience for the person and their loved ones. If you think someone you know may be experiencing a psychotic break, look for changes in sleeping and eating habits, withdrawal from friends and family, changes in mood, and other unusual thoughts or behaviors. If you notice any of these signs, seek professional help right away. With proper treatment, most people who experience a psychotic break fully recover.
If you notice any of these signs in yourself or someone you know, it's important to seek professional help as soon as possible. A psychotic break can signify a serious underlying mental illness, and the sooner treatment is started, the better the chances are for a full recovery.