Do you sometimes feel outside of reality? Hear voices, experiences things others don’t, feel that something or someone is out to get you?

You might be experiencing psychosis.

What is psychosis?

Psychosis is a mental health symptom that sees you experience a break with reality.

This usually involves hallucinations (a sensory experience of something that isn’t real) and/or delusions (believing something that isn’t based on reality).

It’s really important to get help if you are suffering from psychosis. Left untreated it can lead to a desire to self harm, as well as suicidal thinking.

Signs of psychosis

At first there can be mild ‘onset’ symptoms, such as:

Hallucinations that can start include hearing, seeing, feeling, smelling, or even tasting things that aren't really there. The most common hallucination is hearing voices.

Delusions include:

  • thinking someone or something is out to get you
  • feeling constantly in danger
  • seeing special meaning in things
  • believing you are being controlled by exterior forces
  • deciding you have a special power or purpose others don't.

Other signs of psychosis are:

  • disorganised behaviour and speech
  • jumbled or obsessive thinking
  • turning to substances like drugs or alcohol to escape your mind
  • using self-harm to ‘stop thinking’
  • lashing out at others.

Why do I have psychosis?

It’s important to have a full medical checkup to rule out any physical health issue such as epilepsy, brain injury, hormone changes, brain changes such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, or delirium.

And if you are using drugs, this can be the trigger for psychosis.

Severe stress and trauma can also start a psychotic episode.

Otherwise, its thought there is a genetic component that can make some people more susceptible to developing psychosis than others.

Mental health conditions that involve psychosis

Psychosis is a symptom, not a diagnosis in and of itself.

It is most often a symptom of schizophrenia. But it can be part of the following mental health conditions:

Does therapy help psychosis?

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is often used alongside medication. CBT helps you recognise and regulate your thinking, meaning you, and not your thoughts, are in charge of your choices and behaviours.

And a family therapy, such as systemic therapy, can help your family support you in a positive way to live with and manage your psychosis.

Worried about your anxiety and stress levels? Not yourself? Book a therapist now for a professional opinion.

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