Literally translated as "abnormal condition of the mind," psychosis is a general term used to describe a loss of contact with the real world. Individuals suffering from these disorders are often described as psychotic. Psychosis symptoms often include hallucinations or delusions, and treatment for psychosis usually depends on the diagnosis or cause of the certain disorder. Types of treatment can include medication, therapy, hospitalization, or electroconvulsive therapy.
For most patients, treatment for psychosis often begins with one or more antipsychotic medications, or neuroleptics. These are psychiatric medications with tranquilizing effects, and they are often used to treat such conditions as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It is commonly believed that excess dopamine in certain parts of the brain is directly related to some psychotic episodes. Almost all antipsychotics work by blocking dopamine receptors in the brain.
Another popular treatment for psychosis is therapy. This can be individual, family, group, or cognitive behavior therapy. Different types of therapy allow the doctor to monitor the patient, and his symptoms, while helping him deal with his symptoms and maintain a more normal life.
In some more severe cases, hospitalization may be a necessary step during treatment. A psychiatric hospital, or psychiatric ward, is a treatment facility dedicated to treating a variety of mental illnesses. During an inpatient visit to a psychiatric facility, doctors and counselors use a combination of treatments. Many times, exits of these facilities are locked to prevent patients from getting out, but they are almost always allowed to wander around freely and even socialize with the other patients.
Except for very rare and extreme cases, long hospital stays have pretty much become a thing of the past. Treatment stays for psychosis in a psychiatric ward are generally quite short. If a patient fails to respond to or resists treatment, however, he may need to stay longer. In the event that a patient is determined to be a danger to himself or others, he is typically restrained and sedated, but this is rare.
Many people may think it to be a thing of the past, but electroconvulsive therapy is still used today as a treatment for psychosis. This is generally only used in a small number of cases where other, more conventional treatment methods have failed. During this treatment, the patient is put under anesthesia, and mild seizures are induced by electrically stimulating parts of the brain. The theory behind this is that these seizures have certain therapeutic effects on some patients, such as those suffering from manic psychosis.