Schizophrenic psychosis is any symptom of schizophrenia, a psychotic disorder that disrupts the normal thought process of the brain. The most noticeable forms of schizophrenic psychosis are hallucinations and delusions. Disordered thinking, often referred to as a thought disorder, is also a part of this type of psychosis. These symptoms typically appear later in life, and can become increasingly worse without treatment.
The term schizophrenia literally means “split mind,” and describes the disruption between a patient’s thoughts and emotions. This disorder is a lifelong, incurable condition that is relatively difficult to effectively manage with medication compared to other psychotic disorders. While there are a wide range of symptoms of this severe mental health disorder, the different types of psychoses are usually the most prominent, or noticeable, symptoms.
Hallucinations are one of the most well-known schizophrenic psychoses. These are defined as hearing, feeling, or smelling people or things that do not exist, and they typically come and go, except in severe cases. Hearing voices is one of the most common types of hallucinations found in schizophrenic patients. The voices may come and go, or provide a running commentary or dialogue to the patient. A person with schizophrenia may feel things crawling on his or her skin, burning sensations, or may imagine smells such as smoke and become overly agitated because of these hallucinations.
Delusions, similar to hallucinations, involve a patient believing something that is not real despite not being able to see, feel, or hear anything to support the belief. This type of schizophrenic psychosis tends to begin with a misinterpretation of an event or something a person said, often the result of the lack of ability of the patient’s brain to think logically. In most patients, delusions tend to start small and gradually build, resulting in a full-blown break from reality without constant treatment and monitoring.
Disordered thinking, a primary symptom of schizophrenia, is often the most difficult schizophrenic psychosis to decipher; however, it is often the cause of hallucinations and delusions. As schizophrenia causes a disruption in a person’s thought process, patients often have difficulty speaking or organizing their own thoughts in their head, resulting in severe confusion. This type of schizophrenia psychosis can cause patients to become confused and lose their train of thought halfway through a sentence or conversation, or to put unrelated words together. Disordered thinking can also result in disorganized behavior, causing a patient to act erratically.
As all of these symptoms are common in other types of psychotic disorders, they are typically only deemed schizophrenic psychoses after a diagnosis of schizophrenia has been made. In men, different types of schizophrenic psychosis tend to appear as early as the teenage years; in women, symptoms tend to begin between 20 and 30 years of age. Schizophrenic psychosis is typically treated with anti-psychotic medications in conjunction with therapy.