What is Psychosis?

Psychosis is a mental health problem that causes people to perceive or interpret things differently from those around them.

This might involve hallucinations or delusions.

What are the Symptoms and Signs of Psychosis?

Symptoms will vary from person to person. Generally, a person experiencing psychosis might notice the following symptoms which may feel unusual and can be distressing:

  • Seeing, hearing or feeling sensations of things that aren’t there (hallucinations)
  • Feeling as though a force or person outside you is interfering with your thoughts, body or actions (also referred to as ideas of reference)
  • Having delusions such as thinking that people are conspiring against you, that you have special powers or skills OR that people on TV or radio are talking to or about you (also known as delusions)
  • Experiencing trouble putting thoughts in order or keeping track of usual tasks (also referred to as thought disorder)

The symptoms of psychosis vary a lot between individuals and not everyone will experience those that we have listed. The combination of hallucinations and delusional thinking can often severely disrupt perception, thinking, emotion and behavior.

It is important that help and support for any of the above experiences is sought and accessed early. For details of local Early Intervention in Psychosis Services in your area, please visit the Map of EIP teams in the South

I was hearing people talk but hearing totally different words to what they were actually saying and hearing voices when people weren’t there. I even heard the voice of God. It was distressing and disorientating. I couldn’t say what was real and what wasn’t.

Myths about Psychosis

MYTH # 1 TREATMENT DOESN’T WORK
Treatment is effective. The sooner treatment is started, the better the recovery.

MYTH # 2 TREATMENT IS SCARY AND PAINFUL
Don’t believe the scary things you see in movies. Treatment is safe and comfortable.

MYTH # 3 TREATMENT MEANS BEING LOCKED IN A HOSPITAL
Early treatment often happens at home, in the community or a community clinic.

Oxford AHSN