(Science: psychiatry) A mental disorder characterised by gross impairment in reality testing as evidenced by delusions, hallucinations, markedly incoherent speech or disorganised and agitated behaviour without apparent awareness on the part of the patient of the incomprehensibility of his behaviour, the term is also used in a more general sense to refer to mental disorders in which mental functioning is sufficiently impaired as to interfere grossly with the patients capacity to meet the ordinary demands of life.

Historically, the term has been applied to many conditions, for example manic depressive psychosis, that were first described in psychotic patients, although many patients with the disorder are not judged psychotic.

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