What is psychosis?

Psychosis is most likely to occur in young adults and is quite common. About three in every 100 people will experience a psychotic episode - which makes it more common than diabetes in young people. Most make a full recovery from the experience.

Early psychosis can be difficult to identify. Symptoms can be vague at times and everyone’s experience is different.

Many life events can bring about stress, such as relationship changes or work / college pressures. These can lead to confusing emotions and experiences:

  • Difficulty in concentrating or dealing with things at work or college
  • Some sense of paranoia, feeling tense or threatened
  • Changes in mood, sometimes being unpredictable or out of sync with what’s happening around you
  • Losing interest in things that you previously enjoyed
  • You may think that other people are watching you or talking about you
  • You may feel suspicious, scared or angry
  • You may see or hear things which appear very real to you, but that other people don’t notice
  • You might feel that others don’t understand what is happening to you and feel that you want to spend more time alone
  • You may feel that there are particular messages being given to you from your surroundings
  • People close to you, your friends and family, may start to comment that you have been acting strangely or saying odd things
  • You may feel very confused.

You may have tried to ignore these experiences or tried to make sense of them.

Street drugs and alcohol often make these experiences worse.

Having it checked out early generally means a better outlook for the individual with support and understanding for themselves and those close to them.

As a friend or a relative you may feel very emotional and be unsure of what to do next. Nobody is to blame for psychosis and there is no reason to feel ashamed. This can happen to anyone.

It is not unusual to be reluctant to get help.


 

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In psychosis a person may experience some loss of contact with reality. Usually there are gradual changes in how a person thinks, feels and acts in their daily lives, and with others.

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