Psychosis: definition, clinical features, diagnostics, management and treatment

Rapolas Gaižutis1, Justė Gudavičiūtė1, Vilius Apanavičius1

1 Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Academy of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine


The term “psychosis” still does not have a unified definition, but its clinical construct remains stable, it consists of several symptoms: delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking (speech), grossly disorganized or abnormal motor behavior (including catatonia), and negative symptoms. This type of condition sharply disrupts the functionality of the person and his functioning in society and domestic routine. A person experiencing psychosis is often a risk to himself or his surroundings, making quick and efficient diagnosis, control and treatment essential. Extensive neuropsychiatric assessment is a prerequisite to the treatment of psychotic symptoms, and it highlights recognition of medical, substance-related, and neurologic causes of psychosis over their attribution to psychiatric conditions. Treatment of psychosis includes antipsychotic drugs pharmacotherapy, adding psychotherapy, psychosocial interventions, cooperation with primary care physicians, education about the disease and support for the relatives at a stable illness phase.

Keywords: psychiatry, psychosis, antipsychotic drugs, hallucinations, delusions, psychotic disorder, disorganized thinking, negative symptoms.