All About Psychotic Break (Sign, Causes & Treatment)

Last Update on August 28, 2022 : Published on August 28, 2022
All-About-Psychotic-Break

We often talk about a mental breakdown but did you know about a psychotic break? A psychotic break can be best described as a ‘loss of touch with reality. A psychotic break is considered an indication of an underlying mental health condition or warning sign that your present mental illness is worsening.

A psychotic break is not to be taken lightly because it not only warns us about our declining mental health but is capable enough to mess with our mental peace. If you have experienced or witnessed a psychotic break it might have looked/felt like a harsh and distressing disconnect from what’s really happening in the present.

Most people confuse a psychotic break with psychosis, which is not the case. Psychosis is a full-blown mental health condition whereas a psychotic break is just an episode of psychosis. So there are definitely going to be some symptoms of psychosis during a psychotic break but in the form of an episode.

Let’s understand psychotic break in detail,

Psychotic Break: Meaning

A psychotic break is a condition that occurs mainly when someone’s mental health is severely declining. In fact, experts say that a psychotic break happens because of poor mental well-being and not the other way around.

A psychotic break can also be referred to as a psychotic episode and it can be managed through medical interventions, coping strategies, and a good self-care plan. Did you know according to research work done in this field it was found that 30% of people are sure to experience a psychotic break at least once in their entire life span?

Let’s look at the signs and symptoms of a Psychotic break, it will help you get a clear idea of what a psychotic break looks like…

Psychotic Break: Symptoms

One of the main features of a psychotic break is that it happens suddenly. So it will always take you by surprise (not a pleasant one, of course). When it happens to you the first time, it’s going to stick hard but if in case it happens to you again you will not be taken aback.

To be prepared (in a way) for a psychotic break, you need to know the signs and symptoms of a psychotic break. Here’s a list of psychotic symptoms you need to watch out for;

Early symptoms of a psychotic break;

  • Issues with concentration
  • A decline in academic/work performance (usually unexpected)
  • A decline in personal hygiene
  • No self-care
  • Social isolation (self-initiated)
  • Experience heightened emotions or no emotions at all

Common symptoms of a psychotic break;

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Irregular speech (Too fast or too slow)
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Severely Isolating self
  • Distorted and intrusive thoughts
  • Inappropriate behavior

Psychotic Break: Causes

An exact cause of a psychotic break is not yet found so we cannot be certain in stating that this particular thing caused it. Mental health professions have narrowed down some factors that may play a role in initiating or forming a base for a psychotic break. Let’s have a look;

  • Genetic: if you have a family history of a mental illness related to psychosis or any severe mental illness, there are chances of you developing psychosis break.
  • Trauma (physical or emotional): in case someone experiences a traumatic event or even witnesses a traumatic event, a psychotic break can occur.
  • Severe stress: if you are stressed for a lot of time or you experience extreme stress at a point in life, it can give trigger a psychotic break.
  • Brain injuries: traumatic brain injuries mess with the wiring in the brain sometimes and can be the reason behind your psychotic break.
  • Severe mental or physical illness: when you are dealing with a severe illness, it naturally puts you under a lot of stress, which can result in a psychotic break.
  • Substance/drug abuse: consumption of certain drugs or other substances can aid in the development of mental health conditions like psychotic breaks or psychosis.

Psychotic Break: Treatment

The treatment for a psychotic break completely depends on how severe or mild the episode and symptoms of a psychotic break are. In some cases, a doctor just prescribed some clinical drugs to soothe the symptoms or they might just ask you to get psychotherapy.

Once your condition is completely understood and examined by your doctor you’ll either be prescribed medicines, therapy sessions, or both.

  • Medication: if your doctor is using medicines as a course of your treatment, you’re most likely to be prescribed an antipsychotic. It is said to increase dopamine levels in your brain.
  • Psychotherapy: psychotherapy is used to manage symptoms that are governed by your thoughts and emotions. Cognitive behavioral therapy and family therapy are the most commonly used therapies to treat a psychotic break.

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That’s All Folks!

I hope you found this blog about psychotic breaks interesting, informative and helpful. Make sure that you keep the signs and symptoms of psychotic breaks in your mind so that identifying it becomes easy. If you recognize the causes of a psychotic break in your life, try to engage in activities that improve mental well-being.

Thanks for reading.

Stay safe and take care!

About The Author

Kirti Bhati

I am an English literature (major) and psychology (minor) graduate from St. Bede’s College, Shimla. Postgraduate in Clinical psychology from IIS University, Jaipur. She has published a Research paper on Music therapy in the military population and Workplace stress in a national seminar conducted by Fortis hospital (gurugram) and international seminar conducted by St. Bede’s College, Shimla, Respectively. Authored a dissertation work on ‘effect of social media addiction on the mental and physical well-being in adolescents’ Currently working at calm sage as a writer.

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