What is it?

Psychosis is a psychiatric disorder characterized by an impaired relationship with reality. Patients may hear, see, or believe things that aren’t real. Causes of psychosis include illicit drug or alcohol use, sudden discontinuation of chronic alcohol drinking (termed "delirium tremens"), drug withdrawal-syndrome, specific medication, health conditions (dementia, brain tumors, epilepsy, and more), and as a part of psychiatric disorders.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Alcohol-Induced Psychotic Disorder with Hallucinations
- Alcohol Withdrawal Delirium
- Idiosyncratic Alcohol Intoxication
- Alcohol-Induced Persisting Dementia
- Amnestic alcohol syndrome
- Alcohol-Induced Sleep Disorders
- Alcohol Withdrawal
- Alcohol-Induced Psychotic Disorder with Delusions

Signs & symptoms

symptoms may include:
- Hallucinations – the perception of stimuli that aren’t real. Any sense can be affected: vision, hearing, touch, etc.
- Illusions – distortion of real stimuli, different from hallucinations: seeing faces in clouds, or hearing whispers in water flow.
- Delusions – thoughts or strong beliefs that are incoherent with reality.


Diagnosis is made via questioning and different tests to define the cause, and may include:
- Blood tests.
- Urine testing for drugs.
- A psychiatric assessment.
- Brain CT or MRI.


Treatment depends on the cause of the psychosis. It might include discontinuation of medications, administering an antidote to certain drugs, antipsychotic medications, and psychotherapy.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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