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.
This page covers:
When to seek medical advice
Getting help for others
The two mainsymptoms of psychosis are:
The combination of hallucinations and delusional thinking can cause severe distress and a change in behaviour.
Experiencing the symptoms of psychosis is often referred to as having a psychotic episode.
Read about the symptoms of psychosis .
You should see your GP immediately if you're experiencing symptoms of psychosis.It's important psychosis is treated as soon as possible, as early treatment can be more effective.
Your GP may ask you some questions to help determine what's causing your psychosis. They should also refer you to a mental health specialist for further assessment and treatment.
If they're receiving support from a mental health service, you could contact their mental health worker.
If you think the person's symptoms are placing them at possible risk of harm, you can:
A number of mental health helplines are also available, which can offer expert advice.
Around 50% of people need to take long-term medication to prevent symptoms recurring.
If a person's psychotic episodes are severe, they may need to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital for treatment.
Read about treating psychosis .
People with a history of psychosis are more likely than others to have drug or alcohol misuse problems, or both.
Some people use these substances as a way of managing psychotic symptoms. However, substance abuse can make psychotic symptoms worse or cause other problems.
People with psychosis have a higher than average risk of self-harm and suicide .
See your GPif you're self-harming. You can also call the Samaritans , free of charge,on 116 123 for support. The mental health charity Mind also has some useful information and advice.
If you think a friend or relative is self-harming, look out for signs of unexplained cuts, bruises or cigarette burns, usually on the wrists, arms, thighs, and chest. People who self-harm may keep themselves covered upat all times, even in hot weather.
If you're feeling suicidal, you can:
Read about psychosis, a mental health problem that causes people to perceive or interpret things differently from those around them
Someone who develops psychosis will have their own unique set of symptoms and experiences, according to their particular circumstances.
Read about the causes of psychosis. Psychosis can be caused by psychological conditions, general medical conditions, or substances like alcohol and drugs
Read about diagnosing psychosis. See your GP if you have psychotic episodes as early treatment usually has better long-term outcomes
Read about treating psychosis. Treatment for psychosis involves a combination of antipsychotic medicines, psychological therapies, and social support.
Andrew is in his 50s and lives on the south coast. His early psychotic experiences lasted a number of years and had a profound effect on his life.
Sarah lives in the north of England. She had a significant psychotic episode in her early 20s, during which she was abducted and assaulted.
Delusions and voices have been a daily feature of Richard's life for more than 10 years. Despite this, he recently completed a master's degree.