Psychosis is a term used to refer to a collection of symptoms or experiences that seem unusual or out of the ordinary to most people.  It is often described as a 'break from reality'. 

A person may see, hear or smell things that others around them can not.  They may also hold beliefs that others find unusual.  It is important to remember that for the person having these symptoms or experiences, they are very real.

People may experience hallucinations - when they see things that other people don't.  They may experience tastes, smells or physical sensations (like skin crawling) that have no obvious explanation.  They may also hear voices that others don't.  Sometimes the voices may be reassuring or helpful, but often they can be critical and mean.

People may experience delusions - when they have beliefs that others do not share.  These beliefs could be about the person themselves e.g. about their status or importance.  The beliefs could also be about the world around them e.g. they are under threat.

Experiencing a psychotic episode can be very frightening for the person and those around them.  It is important to get the right support and treatment.  There are also things that people can do to help themselves.

Find out more:

Read the Psychotic Experiences Factsheet from Mind

Read the What is Psychosis? Factsheet from Rethink Mental Illness

Psychosis Diagnosis and Management information from

Getting Help:

If you are worried about yourself or someone else then your GP will be able to advise.  The Gateway Service in Manchester is a one stop triage service for NHS mental health services in Manchester.  Call 0161 882 2400.  


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