Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Psychosis: Understanding and Coping Mechanisms

Table of Content

Psychosis during bipolar disorder is complex, with episodes of mania and mood shifts leading to hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized behavior. Understanding the characteristics of these symptoms is crucial to helping individuals manage bipolar and improve their mental well-being. This blog delves into the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of psychosis in bipolar disorder. 

What Is Bipolar Psychosis?

Bipolar psychosis can be described as a disconnection from reality that a person experiences when dealing with the disorder. They struggle to have a clear distinction between reality and imagination, leading to delusions and hallucinations. It also comes with extreme mood swings and behavioral alterations that are common with bipolar. 

Symptoms of Bipolar Psychosis

The exact symptoms of bipolar disorder psychosis can vary from person to person, depending on the nature and intensity of the condition. However, some early indicators can help loved ones detect these symptoms and find professional help at the earliest. Here are some common symptoms: 

Early Warning Signs of Psychosis

Some warning signs that can be detected at an early stage include excess worry about performance at school or work, difficulty concentrating, having extreme, often inappropriate feelings, difficulty maintaining relationships, difficulty maintaining personal hygiene, irregular sleeping patterns, and suspicion towards those around the person affected. It is important to note, however, that any or more of these signs do not necessarily confirm bipolar psychosis and only a professional can provide a comprehensive diagnosis. 


Delusions are false beliefs that feel very real for those experiencing it. It can come in different types. Delusions of grandeur make one feel that they are more important and deserving of more than others around them. Paranoid delusions are characterized by feelings that people around them want to actively harm them. By altering one’s perception of reality, delusions greatly influence behavioral changes and impact a person’s mental health further. 


Hallucinations can be described as situations where a person hears voices, sees things or smells things that aren’t real. These voices don’t need to be particularly inappropriate or bring danger but are perceived nevertheless. Hallucinations are prevalent in bipolar disorders and are highly distressing to cope with, requiring professional assistance to comprehensively manage. 

Causes of Bipolar Psychosis

The causes of bipolar psychosis continue to be a matter of research among scholars, but experts believe that it is normally a combination of biological and environmental factors. Some of the most common causes include: 


While the extent of genetic influence on bipolar psychosis is unclear, some studies suggest that people with a specific genetic makeup are potentially more prone to mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder. It has also been observed that people with a family history of such disorders are at a higher risk of developing it themselves. Identifying the genetic causes provides opportunities to personalize treatments for bipolar disorder and psychosis


The role of hormones in causing psychosis is a matter of continual study, but experts believe that since psychosis can be triggered during childbirth or may occur during puberty, it is potentially linked with hormones. In specific cases where psychosis can be connected to hormones, professionals provide treatments accordingly. 

Use of Marijuana

Marijuana use has been shown to worsen symptoms of bipolar disorder and, in turn, intensify symptoms such as psychosis. It could also increase the episodes of psychosis. Some studies also suggest that high levels of marijuana consumption may increase the risk of experiencing psychotic symptoms as part of bipolar disorder. 

Stress or Trauma

Stress or trauma are common triggers that exacerbate bipolar disorder psychosis symptoms. When a person finds it difficult to manage their emotions and address their past traumas, it greatly hinders their ability to make progress in bipolar disorder treatment. Experts have also noted that stress and trauma could also potentially increase the risk of developing psychosis during bipolar. 

Lack of Sleep

Disrupted sleep and insomnia are known to destabilize mood and increase the likelihood of psychotic episodes in individuals with bipolar disorder. People with this condition find it difficult to prioritize good sleep hygiene and effectively manage their sleep disturbances, leading to psychotic symptoms. 

Types of Bipolar Disorder Psychosis

Bipolar disorder psychosis is mainly of two types, differentiated based on how psychosis symptoms match with the person’s mood and mental state at the time when it is expressed. These are: 

Mood-Congruent Symptoms

When psychosis symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations align with the person’s mood or mental state, it is considered a mood-congruent symptom. Experts have a clear understanding of the phases of bipolar and are thus able to detect these symptoms, which include inflated self-esteem or racing thoughts. These delusions can be triggered by feelings that one is being attacked or spied on. 

Mood-Incongruent Symptoms

Mood-incongruent symptoms are when a person’s mental state and mood do not match their psychotic symptoms during bipolar. When professionals observe that individuals with bipolar disorder start to believe that external forces are controlling their thoughts and actions, leading to unpredictable hallucinations, it is generally believed to be mood-incongruent psychosis symptoms. These are often more intense and require strict attention for appropriate management. 

Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder Psychosis

Since bipolar disorder psychosis is characterized by alternating episodes of mania and depressive episodes, experts take a dynamic approach to diagnosis. For the manic phase, they note extreme moods, high energy, impulsivity, and delusions of grandeur, among others, which can also trigger psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations. For depressive episodes, symptoms such as low mood, lethargy, and low self-esteem are observed. Full-fledged diagnosis involves a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation and takes into account the severity, frequency, and duration of the symptoms, family history, medical history, and more.

Treatment for Bipolar Psychosis

Treatment for bipolar disorder and psychosis requires collaboration with various mental health professionals, including psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and more. Counseling sessions, medication, constant monitoring, and family support are major parts of a comprehensive, holistic bipolar psychosis treatment program. 

Psychopharmacological Approaches

Treatment procedures that involve medications to treat psychiatric disorders are called psychopharmacological treatments. This is a cornerstone of recovery from bipolar psychosis. Some of the prominent medications include mood stabilizers, antipsychotic drugs, and antidepressants, among others. These are essential in maintaining a person’s mental state and preventing extreme behaviors. Such medications are carefully prescribed after a thorough evaluation of the person’s existing symptoms and are altered based on the progress they make. 

Psychotherapy and Supportive Treatments

Therapy usually involves one-on-one as well as family sessions to better understand an individual’s struggles, symptoms, and stressors and find effective ways to manage and prevent them. Therapeutic techniques such as  Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy, and other family-oriented therapies are commonly utilized. Supportive treatments may include psychoeducation, complementary therapy, support group sessions, and strategies to cope with stressors and maintain relationships. 

Coping Strategies for Bipolar Psychosis

Coping with the combination of mood instability and psychosis during bipolar disorder requires a multifaceted approach that addresses both the emotional and cognitive aspects of the disorder while also accounting for the involvement of the family of the individual. Some strategies suggested by experts include: 

Symptom Monitoring Techniques

Symptom tracking of bipolar disorder psychosis includes finding ways to stay on top of an individual’s psychotic symptoms. This is usually done through journals or mood-tracking apps that help one easily assess their symptoms and have a better way to identify triggers or warnings. It helps one keep note of their changing moods, habits, environments, stress levels, and more. 

Building a Support Network

A network of friends, family members, support groups, and mental health professionals can be crucial in monitoring the mood and behaviors of a person with bipolar disorder and assist them in managing their psychotic symptoms. This is greatly helpful in coping with challenges, improving treatments over time, and enhancing quality of life. 

Identifying and Avoiding Triggers

Having a clear understanding of one’s triggers is vital during bipolar recovery. This enables professionals and caregivers to make adequate adjustments to everyday life and requirements. Triggers such as stress, substance dependency, poor sleep patterns, and lifestyle factors can be influenced with the right measures, and thus, being mindful of them can make a world of difference. 

Self-Care Practices

People with bipolar disorder often find it challenging to keep track of their lifestyle practices, but with the right support, they can incorporate self-care strategies into their everyday lives. These practices are aimed at developing overall well-being and include a balanced diet, regular exercise, and ensuring healthy sleep. It may also involve relaxation techniques and other strategies to regulate one’s moods. 

Adherence to Treatment Plans

It is important to follow the specific instructions and recommendations of medical and mental health professionals during treatment. Bipolar with psychotic symptoms can be particularly debilitating, and treatment is a process with various stages of progress. Consistent adherence is necessary to stabilize mood, improve functioning, and reduce chances of relapse during treatment. 

Safety and Emergency Considerations in Bipolar Disorder and Psychosis

A person with bipolar disorder psychosis is prone to delusions and hallucinations. In situations where there is a risk of self-harm or immediate medical attention is needed, it is crucial to maintain a proactive approach to safety and emergency preparedness. 

Conquering Bipolar Psychosis with Cadabams

Reducing risks and maintaining wellness with bipolar disorder, especially with psychosis-related symptoms, requires the combined effort of various professionals and caregivers. If your loved one is coping with symptoms of bipolar psychosis and requires a dedicated team of psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists to guide treatment, consider Cadabams. Our hospital and rehabilitation facilities are designed to support those with intense mental health challenges, overseen by experts with decades of experience in treating conditions such as bipolar. 

If managing bipolar psychosis is your goal, Cadabam's Hospitals is here to support you. With a specialized team of experts and over 30 years of experience, we utilize evidence-based and holistic treatment methods to help individuals lead healthier, happier lives. Reach out to us at +91 97414 76476 or via email at to start your journey toward well-being today.


1. How does bipolar psychosis manifest?

Bipolar psychosis typically appears during severe manic or depressive episodes, featuring hallucinations or delusions that are often in line with the person's extreme mood.

2. What is the treatment for psychotic bipolar?

Treatment usually involves a combination of mood stabilizers, antipsychotic medications, and psychotherapy to manage symptoms and prevent relapse.

3. How long do bipolar disorder and psychosis last?

The duration of bipolar psychosis varies, often lasting for the duration of the manic or depressive episode if untreated, but can be shortened with prompt treatment.

4. Can bipolar psychosis be prevented?

While not entirely preventable, regular treatment adherence, stress management, and monitoring for early symptoms can reduce the frequency and severity of episodes.

5. Can you recover from bipolar disorder and psychosis?

Yes, with appropriate treatment, individuals can recover from episodes of bipolar psychosis, though ongoing management is crucial to minimize recurrence.

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