Psychosis vs schizophrenia (The difference)

In this brief article, we will be discussing psychosis vs schizophrenia, symptoms of psychosis vs schizophrenia, causes of psychosis vs schizophrenia, and more information about psychosis vs schizophrenia.

The argument of psychosis vs schizophrenia

Psychosis is defined as a set of symptoms.

These kinds of symptoms are associated with a certain distortion from reality. 

Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder that can arise as a severe form of psychosis.

People with this kind of psychotic disorder have their breaks from reality and some periods where they can function properly again if they are undergoing treatments. 

People who have psychosis will have a hard time seeing reality as it is.

These kinds of people are also having complications in concentrating since they tend to have delusions that can skip from different ones in different periods. 

A characteristic that overlaps psychosis and experiences is the appearance of psychotic episodes.

People with these kinds of disorders will tend to be overly dysfunctional or distressed by their strange symptoms.

What is the definition of psychosis?

The definition of psychosis is a symptom that is present in psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia.

Studies have shown that this kind of symptom is more common than most people have realized before with 100,000 adolescents suffering the early onset of this symptom.

However, Aubrey Moe is a psychologist with the Early Psychosis Intervention Center at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, describes psychosis as a mentally ill syndrome.

In this case, this kind of syndrome is a set of symptoms and signs that make up a disorder and can be caused by several factors.

A psychiatrist stated that psychosis tends to be associated with a dysfunction of comprehending reality.

In this case, people with this kind of syndrome will be more likely to think abnormally or sense reality abnormally.

The symptoms and signs of psychosis are the following:

  • Delusions – firmly held inaccurate assumptions that can disrupt daily life
  • Hallucinations – sensory experiences and encounters that aren’t triggered by an external stimulus like hearing, seeing, tasting or smelling something that isn’t there.
  • Quick mood swings
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Depressed mood
  • Significant changes in sleep patterns
  • Paranoia
  • Avoiding family or social circumstances
  • Disorganized communication and speedy thoughts
  • Suicidal ideation or behaviours

You can learn more about the nature of psychosis by buying this book on this website.

What are the risk factors that cause people to have psychosis?

The risk factors that cause people to have psychosis are those medical conditions and psychological conditions that can cause distress and dysfunction in one’s life.

Here are the following medical conditions that can cause this kind of syndrome:

  • Bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder. When a mental health patient is in the manic episode of bipolar disorder, psychosis can be an apparent characteristic. However, you can also have major depression with this syndrome according to some psychological cases of this kind of syndrome.
  • Post-partum depression. New mothers who experience and encounter depression after giving birth may be experiencing postpartum depression and in some instances, these kinds of symptoms can become very chronic and elicit psychosis.
  • Metabolic or digestive or endocrine disorders. Hyperthyroidism is when the thyroid creates too much of a specific hormone can elicit psychosis. This can also occur with Addison’s disease which is a hormonal disorder in which the body doesn’t make enough of the hormone cortisol. At the other side of the spectrum, Cushing syndrome is where the body creates too much cortisol can also elicit these kinds of episodes in some people, especially those who are susceptible to this syndrome.
  • Genetic diseases. Specific genetic disorders like Huntington’s disease which is a life-threatening complication that triggers the developing breakdown of brain cells that can elicit psychosis.
  • Autoimmune conditions. Several autoimmune disorders where the immune system mistakenly fights the body’s own cells can elicit psychosis, especially if these kinds of conditions affect the brain like lupus or multiple sclerosis.
  • Renal or hepatic dysfunction. Failure of internal organs such as the kidneys or liver can also elicit psychosis because the body can’t delete toxins that sometimes can impact how the brain works.
  • Autism. People with autism spectrum disorder have a higher potential of getting psychosis.
  • Drugs and psychotropic medications. The other large group that can trigger psychotic symptoms are adverse responses to prescription medication or the side effects of drug use. Specifically, stimulants such as methamphetamines can cause these kinds of episodes although other things such as cannabis can also lead to these symptoms. Therefore, it’s vital to evaluate whether that’s present or if someone has currently begun a drug that has a recognized potential of triggering psychotic symptoms. A typically used one is the steroid medication prednisone which is an anti-inflammatory used for different medical complications but based on the individual and the dose used it can lead to psychotic symptoms as most psychologists found

Psychotic experiences can be very frightening, especially to people who first started out this kind of episode.

Fortunately, there is a way to treat this kind of episode by getting the early episode to medical attention. 

Psychologists have stated that the act of addressing someone’s psychosis, at first sight, can help that affected person in the long run.

You can learn more about the causes of this kind of abnormality by buying this book on this website.

What is the definition of schizophrenia in abnormality?

The definition of schizophrenia is a mental condition with the predominant symptoms of delusions and hallucinations.

This is why psychosis is a predominant feature of schizophrenia. 

Aside from psychosis, schizophrenia has other symptoms and signs as well. The following are these symptoms and signs:

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Paranoia
  • Uncommon or agitated actions or purposeless activity
  • Conflict in making decisions
  • Lack of concentration or attention
  • Unstructured thinking or memory lapses
  • Negative symptoms like a lack of emotional expression or a lack of motivation or interest and ability to fulfil tasks and avoiding social circumstances

Schizophrenia is also a psychiatric disorder that causes psychosis.

This kind of mental disorder tends to have its symptoms for 6 months which could be enough for the affected person to be dysfunctional in important areas in life and heavily distressed.

The diagnosis of schizophrenia should have at least 2 or more positive psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions.

Negative symptoms can also be present such as the lack of attention for hygiene or lack of interest in doing anything that fills them with enjoyment. 

The symptoms of schizophrenia should show that the affected person is really dysfunctional from his or her disorder such as not being able to work properly.

As mentioned before, the psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia should be appearing at the span of 6 months.

The psychologist or another mental health professional should be able to assess if the schizophrenia is caused by a drug or another medical or mental condition.

In this case, the diagnosis of this psychotic disorder is harder and may be filled with curvy lines. 

It really takes a long time to find a direct way of diagnosing schizophrenia since it tends to manifest variously in differently affected people.

You can learn more about this kind of psychotic disorder by buying this book on this website.

Schizophrenia being a psychotic disorder

Other psychiatric disorders can be related to other psychological disorders. The following groups of psychological disorders are:

  • Psychotic disorders like schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, catatonia, schizophreniform disorder, delusional disorder
  • Mood disorders such as bipolar disorder, cyclothymic disorder, dysthymia, major depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder
  • Substance use psychological disorders

Schizophrenia and the other forms of psychotic disorders have the symptom of psychosis.

Although they differ in some of the symptoms aside from this kind of symptom:

• Brief psychotic disorder includes the presence of one to three psychotic symptoms that have been appearing no more than one month

• Delusional disorder includes only delusions or hallucinations which are typically mild and connected to the delusion

• Schizophreniform disorder is most intimately replicates schizophrenia but is distinguishable in that schizophreniform lasts in less than six months

• Schizoaffective disorder is a psychotic disorder with intense mood characteristics

All psychotic disorders can’t easily be differentiated from schizophrenia since some psychotic symptoms will overlap and may only confuse the mental health professional on what the psychiatric disorder is without the cooperation of the patient.

Mood Disorders with Psychotic Characteristics vs. Schizophrenia

Some people with schizophrenia may have mood symptoms but the questions remain that there is the determination if it is a psychotic disorder with mood features or a mood disorder with psychotic features.

Here are some points to follow up on this argument:

  • Schizophrenia’s negative psychosis symptoms are very similar to depression.
  • Schizophrenia’s positive psychosis symptoms like disorganized behaviour can be seen as a lot like bipolar mania.
  • In their chronic types, both depression and bipolar disorder can have psychotic characteristics.

If these affected patients are to be treated properly, mental health professionals should take note of the following differential diagnosis:

  • Depressive disorder with psychosis vs schizophrenia
  • schizophrenia vs bipolar disorder with psychosis

Mental health professionals can take note of the timing of the prominent symptoms.

For instance, the appearance of mood symptoms during psychotic episodes can lead to the diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder. 

If the mood symptoms happen alone but may show up time-to-time in the midst of a psychotic disorder, mood disorder will be diagnosed to the affected patient.

You can learn more about mood disorders by buying this book on this website.

As mentioned before, the use of psychotropic substance either recreationally or medically can cause symptoms of psychosis.

This will only be more conflicted when there is an argument between drug-related psychosis vs schizophrenia.

The abuse and use of drugs can induce psychosis symptoms and the withdrawal effects are also related to this symptom.

Excessive alcohol use can also induce this symptom and also the withdrawal effects are also associated with this symptom. 

If someone has psychosis while using drugs, he or she may not have schizophrenia.

But there’s a possibility that the affected person may be using drugs to medicate his or her schizophrenia without prescription from the doctor.

The understanding of the differences between psychosis vs schizophrenia is important in understanding since this can lead to the proper treatment of these psychological disorders.

What Should You Do If You or a Loved One Is Undergoing Psychosis?

If your loved one or you is undergoing psychosis symptoms, you need to seek professional help immediately and accept help from people who are concerned about you.

Psychologists stated that it’s important for the person to immediately seek care as soon as possible.

The immediate medical attention is very crucial for people who are psychosis symptoms or schizophrenia symptoms that are very disruptive in the affected person’s life.

You can learn more about how to deal with your disorganized thoughts while you are in therapy by buying this journal here. 


In this brief article, we have discussed psychosis vs schizophrenia, symptoms of psychosis vs schizophrenia, causes of psychosis vs schizophrenia, and more information about psychosis vs schizophrenia.

If you have any questions about psychosis vs schizophrenia, please let us know and the team will gladly answer your queries.

FAQs: psychosis vs schizophrenia

What are psychotic thoughts?

Psychotic thoughts are those kinds of thoughts that are against reality or something far from the present truth.

These kinds of thoughts are referred to as delusions.

These kinds of delusions can range from grandiosity to paranoia which is the most common kind of delusion. 

What happens to the brain during psychosis?

In the brain during psychosis, two chemicals or neurotransmitters are moving along that creates the onset of psychotic disorders such as schizoaffective disorder.

The increase of dopamine which is a neurotransmitter will create the onset of any psychotic disorder that the person might be susceptible in whether it be a schizophreniform disorder or brief psychotic disorder.

Can schizophrenics love?

No, schizophrenics cannot love. Most of these affected patients would prevent themselves from engaging in intimate relationships.

Although some patients are able to maintain their romantic and healthy relationships than others.

Most patients with this kind of disorder find it hard to have these kinds of relationships since they may bring injury to the partner if they somehow find the partner as the one who would kill them due to some government conspiracy or another paranoid delusion.

Can schizophrenia kill you?

No, schizophrenia cannot kill you.

Although some symptoms of this psychotic disorder may trigger these kinds of patients to bring harm to themselves.

This is one of the causes of why these kinds of patients are recommended to stay in a psychiatric hospital.

One of the main reasons that these kinds of patients may die is suicide due to their symptoms such as a persecutory delusion or hallucinations.

Do schizophrenics see other dimensions?

No, schizophrenics do not see other dimensions.

These visions may be the outcome of delusions and hallucinations that may come to these affected individuals.

After all, patients can’t be diagnosed with this kind of disorder if they discover that the patient doesn’t elicit both symptoms of hallucinations and delusions.


HealthyPlace. Schizophrenia vs. Psychosis: What’s the Difference?.

Heretohelp. What’s the difference between psychosis and schizophrenia?.

US News. Psychosis and Schizophrenia.

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