You might hear voices or believe that people are trying to harm you – it might affect your thinking and perceptions, and feelings and behaviours. People experience psychosis differently: it may disrupt your day-to-day life and make you feel tired, scared or overwhelmed; or it might be comforting and help you become more creative.
People experience psychosis for a short time, which others have episodes periodically. About 1 in 100 people will experience a psychotic episode in their lifetime.
Symptoms and causes of psychosis
Men and women are equally affected by psychosis. People with psychosis can lose touch with reality and show symptoms that include:
- Hallucinations: Seeing things and hearing voices that aren’t real
- Delusions: Believing things that aren’t true
- Disturbing and confusing thoughts
- Not realising something is wrong
You might develop some cognitive experiences with psychosis, such as:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory problems
- Inability to take in information
- Struggling to make decisions.
There are no single causes of psychosis but it can come down to life experiences through abuse, trauma and stress, brain chemicals, genetics or drug use.
How can we help
Change Mental Health runs the Hearing Voices service in Tayside and Fife, to support people to live around their voices and other symptoms of psychosis. Our support pages share lived experience from our staff and people supported within the service and how we support people to develop strategies when coping with psychosis. Getting support or medical advice quickly from your GP will enable treatment to become more effective.
We have more information on hearing voices through our ‘A Guide to Voices and Sensory Disturbances’ resource.
Our Information and Support Line signposts you to relevant support in your area that most fits your needs and how Change Mental Health supports people in local communities across Scotland with psychosis.