Psychosis causes

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1];Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Vindhya BellamKonda, M.B.B.S [2]


Causes of mental illness are customarily distinguished as "organic" or "functional". Organic causes are those for which a medical, pathophysiological basis can be found. Functional causes are "the rest", the psychological causes properly speaking, e.g. anxiety, depression, etc.

"Functional" causes

Functional causes of psychosis include the following:

A psychotic episode can be significantly affected by mood. For example, people experiencing a psychotic episode in the context of depression may experience persecutory or self-blaming delusions or hallucinations, while people experiencing a psychotic episode in the context of mania may form grandiose delusions.

Stress is known to contribute to and trigger psychotic states. A history of psychologically traumatic events, and the recent experience of a stressful event, can both contribute to the development of psychosis. Short-lived psychosis triggered by stress is known as brief reactive psychosis, and patients may spontaneously recover normal functioning within two weeks.[1] In some rare cases, individuals may remain in a state of full-blown psychosis for many years, or perhaps have attenuated psychotic symptoms (such as low intensity hallucinations) present at most times.

Sleep deprivation has been linked to psychosis.

Causes by Organ System

Cardiovascular No underlying causes
Chemical / poisoning Mesothelioma
Dermatologic No underlying causes
Drugs Alcohol, Dextromethorphan, antihistamines at high doses,Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines, Cimetidine,Pergolide, Sodium oxybate,Anticholinergic drugs,Atropine, scopalamine, Jimson weed, Antidepressants, Antiepileptics,Isotretinoin, Varenicline, Ziconotide,Cocaine,Amphetamines, LSD, Psilocybin, Mescaline,

MDMA (ecstasy), PCP

Ear Nose Throat No underlying causes
Endocrine No underlying causes
Environmental No underlying causes
Gastroenterologic No underlying causes
Genetic No underlying causes
Hematologic No underlying causes
Iatrogenic No underlying causes
Infectious Disease AIDS,Leprosy, Malaria, Mumps, Flu, Lyme disease, Syphilis
Musculoskeletal / Ortho Amyotropic lateral sclerosis, Ewing's sarcoma, Polyradiculitis
Neurologic Multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinsons, Lewy bodydementia Adult-onset vanishing white matter leukoencephalopathy, Late-onset metachromatic leukodystrophy
Nutritional / Metabolic No underlying causes
Obstetric/Gynecologic No underlying causes
Oncologic Brain tumor
Opthalmologic No underlying causes
Overdose / Toxicity No underlying causes
Pulmonary No underlying causes
Renal / Electrolyte Hypocalcemia, Hypernatremia, Hyponatremia, Hypokalemia, Hypomagnesemia, Hypermagnesemia, Hypophosphatemia
Rheum / Immune / Allergy Lupus
Sexual No underlying causes
Trauma No underlying cause
Urologic No underlying causes
Miscellaneous Sarcoidosis


  1. Jauch, D. A. (1988). "Reactive psychosis. I. Does the pre-DSM-III concept define a third psychosis?". Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. 176 (2): 72–81. PMID 3276813. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help); Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)