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What is Psychosis?

Psychosis is a word to basically describe when someone experiences the world in a different way to what is considered to be ‘reality’ by most people. Someone who is experiencing a psychotic episode may hold some odd beliefs about the world and others. These beliefs may mean they sometimes behave strangely. They may also see, hear, or feel things that aren’t there. Sometimes they hear voices commenting on what they are doing or telling them to do things. They may have trouble functioning in their daily life because of these experiences. 


Signs of psychosis

Experiences of sight, sound, touch, taste or smell that aren’t happening, but feel very real. These experiences can be extremely frightening or unsettling.

Having odd beliefs about the world and others that are highly unlikely to be true. Some examples of these beliefs (called delusions) include:

  • Believing the person on the radio or T.V. are speaking directly to you or giving you signs

  • Believing you or someone you care about is being plotted against or spied on

  • Believing you have a special duty to fulfill or a special ability others don’t have

  • Believing those around you aren’t who they say they are or have changed

  • Having real trouble concentrating and having conversations, thoughts jumping around a lot, trouble focusing on one thing, feeling confused or flustered

  • Feeling numb or flat, feeling like it’s very hard to function or do the things you used to find easy to do

Where to get support

  • It can feel really full on to experience these kinds of things, and you may feel a lot of shame, embarrassment or fear that makes you not want to tell anyone.

  • Experiencing psychosis does not mean you are going crazy. There are lots of young people out there who have had these experiences, get support and then go on to live totally normal lives.

  • It’s really important to tell someone what’s going on so you’re not alone with these experiences. There are people out there who want to help and know how.

  • Talk to someone you trust who can go with you to your G.P. Your G.P. will help hook you up with professional help so things can feel better and settle down again.

  • Alongside support a professional, click here for our ideas on how to deal with stress.

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