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What is psychosis

You may be aware of feeling very stressed or worried lately, and you may have spoken to your GP or someone close to you about this. You might have noticed some unusual experiences or feelings which can often be frightening or make you worry more. You might have started having problems at home, with other people or when you leave the house.

When someone is under stress, it can affect them in many ways. Some people notice changes in their body, such as sleep pattern or their interest in food. People also notice changes in how they feel or think, and the things they do.

When people get very distressed or worried a whole range of unusual experiences can occur at the same time. Within mental health services, this is often referred to as psychosis.

This can be frightening or overwhelming for people; especially if it seems those around them do not understand what is happening. 

Some Common Experiences of Psychosis:

Changes in Thinking

Some people feel like their thoughts have been taken away, are speeded up or are being controlled by someone or something else.  There can often be some strong or unusual beliefs, such as feeling that some powerful force is out to hurt you or everyday things become more significant and meaningful to you.

Changes in Emotion

You might start to feel low all the time, more angry than usual or notice that you have lost interest in the things you used to enjoy.

Changes in Senses

Some people notice strange smells or very bright colours.  There can also be images or voices that no-one else can see or hear.  The voices people hear can often be very critical or threatening towards you.  They sometimes comment on the things you do or try to get you to act in particular ways.

Changes in Behaviour

People can often start avoiding other people or staying indoors more, usually as they feel this helps keep them safe.  It can be difficult to keep track of things or concentrate on what you are doing at times.  This can be particularly difficult if you are being distracted by the voices you hear.

Click here to read our 'What is Psychosis?' information leaflet.

Click here to read our information leaflet on coping with psychosis.