This section explains what psychosis is and its possible causes and treatments. You will find it useful if you are affected by psychosis or if you have a friend or family member who is affected.
- Psychosis is a medical term used to describe hearing or seeing things that do not exist, or believing things that other people do not.
- Common examples include hearing voices or believing that people are trying to do you harm.
- You can experience psychosis for a wide variety of reasons. For example it can be due to having a mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. It may be caused by drug use, brain injury or extreme stress.
- There is no one single cause of psychosis but researchers believe that genes, biological factors and environment may play a part.
- In the NHS, you should be offered medication and talking therapy to help with your symptoms.
- To access treatment for psychosis, you usually need to have an assessment by specialist mental health services, such as the Community Mental Health Team (CMHT).
- If you are experiencing very severe psychotic symptoms, you may need more urgent help such as going into hospital.
- There are different perspectives on how we should deal with psychosis. This includes listening to the voices or trying to understand the meaning of the unusual beliefs.
This section covers:
- What is psychosis?
- What conditions are linked with psychosis?
- What causes psychosis?
- How is psychosis treated?
- What if I am not happy with my treatment?
- Different views on psychosis
- Information for carers, friends or relatives
These pages are created by the Rethink Mental Illness Advice Service in accordance with the Information Standard. Last reviewed in February 2016. Next review February 2019.
Need practical advice & info? We can help.
Contact our Advice team about mental health & related issues
0300 5000 927 Monday - Friday 10am - 2pm, not including bank holidays