At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
A psychosis test to evaluate a patient who may have psychosis involves screening with a mental health professional qualified to assess the patient and identify the key components necessary for a diagnosis of psychosis. Additional testing may be used to learn more about the origins of the psychosis, and this can include blood and urine samples analyzed in a lab. People being evaluated for psychosis should plan on spending several hours on testing, and they may need to meet with a mental health professional several times.
People with psychosis experience a break with reality. They can develop hallucinations and delusions, such as a belief that they are under attack by a person or entity, and they often experience disordered thinking. Disordered thinking can cause behavioral abnormalities and the person may have difficulty communicating, performing complex tasks, and engaging in activities associated with daily living. A psychosis test can be used to see if a patient has psychosis or another related mental health condition.
In a psychosis test, a psychiatrist or another mental health professional asks the patient a series of questions. These questions are designed to tease out information about how the patient views and interacts with the world. The test looks for key signs that the patient is hallucinating or experiencing delusions. During the screening, the patient will be observed for signs of disordered thinking, like garbled sentences or confusion.
It is also common to contact friends and family during a psychosis test. People who know the patient can describe behavior as normal or abnormal and provide more information about the patient's medical and psychological history. If a patient has suddenly started acting strange, friends, family, and the patient's regular doctor are likely to have made note of it. They may have information about triggering events that can be used to learn more about why the patient is experiencing psychosis. For example, some medications are known to cause psychiatric symptoms, and if a patient starts taking one of those medications and then begins experiencing psychiatric problems, simply stopping the medication may resolve the problem.
If the outcome of a psychosis test shows that a patient does indeed have psychosis, screening will expand in scope to find out why. Blood and urine testing can look for medical causes of psychosis and additional psychological testing and screening can be used to see if the psychosis is occurring with another mental illness, like depression. This information will be used to develop a treatment plan to help the patient break through the psychosis and rejoin reality. Treatments can include medications, psychotherapy, and treatment of underlying medical conditions that may be contributing to the patient's mental state.