Psychosis is a medical term used to describe hearing or seeing things, or holding unusual beliefs that other people do not share. Psychosis is a symptom of serious mental illness. A person experiencing psychosis loses touch with what is usually accepted as reality. They may feel paranoid, hallucinate, hear voices or have delusions, or have confused thoughts.
You can experience psychosis for a wide variety of reasons. For example, it can be because of a mental illness, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. It can also be caused by drug use, brain injury or extreme stress.
You should see your doctor immediately if you're experiencing psychotic episodes. It's important that psychosis is treated as soon as possible, because early treatment usually has better long-term outcomes. If you are experiencing very severe psychotic symptoms you may need more urgent help, such as going into hospital.
Information on NHS Choices
Other useful information
- Rethink Mental Illness
- Royal College of Psychiatrists