Psychosis is when you perceive or interpret events differently from those around you.

This includes experiencing hallucinations, delusions and flight of ideas.

Many people will experience psychosis only once in their lives. For some it can be fairly short episodes and for others it can be a long-term problem. 

It affects people in a range of ways. Some people experiencing it do not find it distressing, while others find it can have a significant impact on their day to day life.

Psychosis isn’t given as a diagnosis on its own. If you experience it, you may be given one of the following diagnoses: schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, paranoid disorder, severe depression. 

As psychosis can be a symptom of several different diagnoses you may find you are given different diagnoses at different times. 

There are many different explanations for why people experience psychosis, for example, physical illness or injury, consumption of drugs, lack of sleep, hunger, bereavement, abuse or trauma, spiritual experiences or genetic inheritance. 

For many people, there is no quick and simple treatment to deal with psychosis; however, there is a range of treatment and support available. 

Understanding Psychosis

This booklet explains what psychosis is, including possible causes and how you can access treatment and support.

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