Psychosis and Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is one of the most common mental illnesses, and it affects thousands of people nationwide. This disorder is often very difficult to manage because the medications used to treat it can make an individual feel lousy and the symptoms associated with it are often extremely overwhelming.

However, one of the most challenging side effects to deal with can be psychosis, which occurs when an individual’s thoughts and emotions become so impaired that contact is lost with external reality.

Effects of Psychosis with Bipolar Disorder

Psychosis can be a symptom of bipolar disorder and can cause individuals to lose touch with reality completely, even to a point where they disrupt not only their own personal life, but also the lives of others. Some of the most common effects of psychosis on bipolar individuals include the following:

  • Hallucinations – People with bipolar disorder often experience shifts between depression and mania, both of which can contain psychotic episodes including hallucinations. During a psychotic depressive or psychotic manic episode, an individual can begin seeing or hearing things that are not really there.
  • Delusions – Delusional behavior is common in individuals with bipolar disorder, especially when their emotions are running at high speed. When this occurs, individuals become set in their beliefs, regardless of if they are factual or not.
  • Paranoia –Individuals who experience psychosis as a result of bipolar disorder often begin feeling as though they are walking on eggshells at all times. This comes from their heightened experiences with delusions and hallucinations, causing them to develop continual anxiety during a period of psychosis.

Psychotic episodes in bipolar individuals can lead to the development of hallucinations, delusions and paranoia, all of which can impact their ability to function.

Treatment for Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder and the psychosis that can come with it are mental conditions that require life-long treatment and continued care. Some of the most common forms of bipolar treatment often include the administration of medications, such as lithium, anticonvulsants, antipsychotics and antidepressants. In addition, psychotherapy is also encouraged and can include cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, psychoeducation and family therapy.