Psychosis is a condition that affects your sense of reality and how you see the world. This can be very distressing and affect the way you behave.
Symptoms of psychosis include:
- hallucinations when you hear, see, feel or smell things that are not there.
- delusions when you believe things that are not shared by others, such as believing in a conspiracy to harm you.
- paranoia when you feel you are being watched or followed.
- muddled thoughts or difficulty concentrating.
These symptoms can combine in different ways and may not happen all at once. When you experience the symptoms of psychosis, this is known as a psychotic episode. It is important to know that psychosis is a condition and is not the same as describing someone as a ‘psychopath.’
There are also other reasons people may feel similar symptoms to psychosis, such as dissociation. The main difference is how long these experiences last. For example, dissociation normally lasts several hours and psychosis can last longer.
Many young people worry that they may have psychosis because it is talked about in the media. It is important to remember that some of the symptoms above can be part of adolescence and do not lead to long-term difficulties. If you are worried about psychosis, there is help available which can be very effective. It is important to see your family doctor (GP), school nurse or another professional who will be able to help you seek the right support.