What Is Paranoid Psychosis? Symptoms and Treatment Options, Explained

Reviewed by Laura Angers, LPC

Published 06/22/2022

Thoughtful woman writing in notebook at home

Paranoid psychosis is a mental health condition that may require immediate treatment when someone is experiencing it. There are other facts you may want to know about this illness as well. Keep reading for details on causes, symptoms, and treatment options related to paranoid psychosis.

What Is Psychosis?

Psychosis affects the brain and may cause someone to not process thoughts appropriately. A person may hallucinate or believe things that are not true. Psychosis is thought to be a symptom in many cases and not a disorder by itself.

Paranoid psychosis is a type of psychosis where a person also experiences paranoia.


Paranoia occurs when a person doesn’t trust other people or feels that people want to harm them. Paranoia may be present in a number of mental conditions.

Causes Of Psychosis

There are a few possible causes that may contribute to psychosis.

Your Genes

If there is someone in your family that experiences psychosis, you have a greater chance of experiencing it as well.

Changes in Hormones

There is evidence to support that psychosis might be experienced when there is a sudden change in hormones. This may be the case when adolescents and postpartum women develop psychosis. A 2013 study explains how hormones can play a role in developing psychosis, but more research will need to be done to prove a definite connection. 

Symptoms Of Psychosis

Here are a few common symptoms of psychosis.

  • Hallucinations occur when you hear or see things that are not present. A person may hallucinate with any of their senses, but hearing and seeing things are the most common types of hallucinations.
  • A delusion is a belief that you have that isn’t based on fact. A person may feel like they are being targeted, even when evidence is presented that this isn’t true.
  • Feeling down. Sometimes a person will feel depressed or sad when they are experiencing psychosis.
  • Isolating oneself. They may also start to keep to themselves, more than they used to. If someone you care about stops hanging out around other people, this may be a cause for concern.
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  • Feelings of anxiousness. Psychosis may also cause someone to feel anxious or nervous.
  • Being unable to concentrate. Being unable to concentrate is not always something that should worry you, but if it is paired with other symptoms in this list, it is worth noting in a loved one.
  • Getting too much or not enough sleep. When someone is sleeping too much or not enough, this may be a warning sign of psychosis.
  • Not taking care of themselves. A person may also stop bathing, changing clothes, brushing their hair, or other things related to taking proper care of themselves.

If you are experiencing symptoms related to psychosis, please take this psychosis test to see how you can get the support you need.

What Triggers Psychosis?

There are a few things that may trigger psychosis. One is trauma. If a person has undergone trauma, it may bring on psychosis. If you have experienced trauma and were unable to get treatment to address it at the time, please reach out for support as soon as you can.

The use of drugs may also trigger psychosis. This is because many drugs are designed to cause you to lose touch with reality. If you are already experiencing psychosis or have in the past, you should do your best to stay away from all types of recreational drugs, especially if they are hallucinogenic.

Other conditions are also able to trigger psychosis. If you have another physical or mental condition, they may cause you to experience psychosis. It’s a good idea to get checked out by a doctor and a mental health professional if you suspect that you have an illness of any type. Moreover, getting a checkup every now might help you detect these things before they cause large issues.

So, when you wonder what can trigger a psychotic episode, there are a few things that may trigger psychosis.

Patient meeting with a therapist

What Does Psychotic Episode Mean?

A psychotic episode occurs when a person is experiencing psychosis. When someone is having an episode, they are likely out of touch with reality and need mental health support.

What Is Psychotic Behavior?

Psychotic behavior is essentially how someone acts whenever they are experiencing psychosis. If someone is exhibiting the symptoms listed above, this is considered psychotic behavior.

Treatment Options For Psychosis

There are multiple treatment options available to treat psychosis.


Psychotherapy is a type of therapy that is often used to treat psychosis. When this type of therapy is utilized, it consists of visiting a psychiatrist, who can teach a person experiencing psychosis to think differently and may also be able to help them address their anxiety.


Medicines are also used when it comes to treating psychosis. There are many types of medicines that a doctor might prescribe, and it usually depends on the symptoms present.

Psychotherapy and prescriptions are usually used together to treat all the symptoms that are experienced with psychosis. Research shows that getting treatment as soon as possible can positively affect the course of treatment. This is explained in World Psychiatry.

Can Psychosis Be Cured?

There is no cure for psychosis, but there are treatment options you can take advantage of if you experience symptoms related to psychosis. When you get support as soon as you start to notice symptoms, you have the best chance of seeing a reduction in your symptoms. When psychosis isn’t treated at all, it can cause someone to experience other conditions as well. For instance, psychosis is thought to be a big factor when it comes to developing schizophrenia.

Helpful Tips

When you are getting treatment for psychosis, there are a few other things that you can do which may help you during this time.

Keep A Diary

Talk to your therapist about whether you should keep a diary. Writing things down may help you pinpoint any triggers that are affecting you and allow you to get your thoughts out.

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Keep An Open Dialogue

In some cases, you might feel like you can’t be truthful with your therapist. This is not the case. You should be as honest as possible to get the best care. When your doctor knows about all the symptoms you are experiencing, they should provide you with a treatment plan that works well for your needs. Moreover, when something doesn’t seem to be working, you can discuss this with your therapist. At times, medicines may cause side effects and will need to be adjusted. This is something that you should tell your doctor as soon as possible.

Follow Your Treatment Plan

You should also follow your treatment plan properly. This means taking your pills and doing other things that your doctor suggests. Remember that as you are working through treatment, you may see a decrease in certain symptoms. Additionally, your therapy might be teaching you how to deal with situations that come up or helping you work through your stress. These things are beneficial to all aspects of life.

Take Care Of Yourself

Do everything you can to take care of yourself. Remember to get adequate sleep at night and keep up with your hygiene. You may consider exercising, as well. Working out not only burns calories, but it can also help with stress management and might improve your mood. Eating balanced meals is also important, so you will have proper nutrition. Healthy foods can also give you energy.


Getting treatment for psychosis is a positive step if you are experiencing symptoms that impact your life. There are different treatment options available, and once you meet with a qualified therapist, they will be better able to determine which treatments are best for your psychosis. Be sure to reach out as soon as you can since it is important to get treatment at the first sign of psychosis. Of course, you may still see a reduction in symptoms if you get treatment after experiencing psychosis for a while. Still, the condition may be harder to treat when experiencing psychosis for a longer period.

People support each other in a rehab session

If your loved one is experiencing psychosis, they may not reach out for the help they need. This is to be expected. However, you should do what you can to stay supportive and let them know that treatments are available to them. People with psychosis need people around them that care, so does what you can to gently care for them and get mental health help for yourself if you think you need it. In some cases, there are support groups that you can take advantage of to learn more about psychosis and hear from people who have gone through it or have loved ones that have.

Remember that there is hope out there, and psychosis isn’t something that has to affect you forever, especially with the proper treatment.