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Medical Term:


Pronunciation: si-ko'sis, -sez


  1. A mental and behavioral disorder causing gross distortion or disorganization of a person's mental capacity, affective response, and capacity to recognize reality, communicate, and relate to others to the degree of interfering with that person's capacity to cope with the ordinary demands of everyday life. The psychoses are divided into two major classifications according to their origins: those associated with organic brain syndromes (Korsakoff syndrome); and those less clearly organic and having some functional component(s) (the schizophrenias, bipolar disorder).
  2. Generic term for any of the so-called insanities, the most common forms of which are the schizophrenias.
  3. A severe emotional and behavioral disorder.

Synonym(s): psychotic disorder

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© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.