Hoffman, Ralph E. Yale Psychiatric Institute, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
Last reviewed:January 2021
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Any disorder of higher mental processes of such severity that judgments pertaining to the reality of external events are significantly impaired. Psychosis, or psychotic disorder, is a defective mental state in which there is a critical derangement of the mind (brain) involving abnormal contact with reality (see illustration). A wide range of psychiatric, medical, and neurological conditions can bring about a psychotic state. These conditions include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness), depression, ingestion of drugs, withdrawal from drugs, liver or kidney failure, endocrine disorders, metabolic disorders, Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy and seizure disorders, Huntington's disease, and other neurological disturbances. Not all psychotic states are caused by disease or drugs. The dreams of normal sleep are considered as a form of psychosis; while dreaming, an alternative reality is experienced that, at the moment, is generally not known to be false, but whose experienced reality is quickly dispersed upon awakening. See also: Addiction and addictive disorders; Affective disorders; Alzheimer's disease; Bipolar disorder; Brain; Depression; Epilepsy; Huntington's disease; Mental disorders; Nervous system disorders; Schizophrenia; Seizure disorders; Sleep and dreaming
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