What is Psychosis?

Psychosis is a serious mental illness affecting the brain that changes the way a person thinks and feels, leading to a significant loss of touch with reality.

Theonset of psychosis can be sudden or gradual.

What are the signs and symptoms of psychosis?

  • Loss of usual behaviour or skills
  • Lack of interest in things normally considered important
  • Lack of energy or desire to do anything - even simple things
  • Absorbed in own thoughts and senses
  • Lack of normal feelings and less responsive to others
  • Strong attitudes and beliefs that may seem unreasonable to others
  • Difficulty with abstract thinking
  • Movements slow down or stop
  • Believing things that don’t make sense or are against evidence
  • Hearing or seeing things that aren’t actually there
  • Being unable to “think straight”
  • Being emotionally disturbed or excited
  • Trying to seem very important
  • Being untrusting and guarded, feeling “watched”
  • Acting unfriendly and showing ill feelings towards others

What causes psychosis?

While no one knows for sure, most people believe that a biological risk for the disease interacting with a combination of genetic and biological factors, alcohol and drug abuse and stress are contributing factors to the development of psychosis.

Who experiences psychosis?

Approximately 3% of all individuals experience an episode of psychosis in their lifetime.  A first episode of psychosis usually occurs in teens or early adult life.