Psychosis describes someone’s experience of seeing, hearing or thinking things that aren’t real. They might experience hallucinations (when you see or hear things that others can’t) or delusions (when you believe things that seem unrealistic to others). These experiences can be confusing and worrying, both for the person who it happens to as well as for people around them.

People going through psychosis are often described as having a ‘psychotic episode’. People might only have one psychotic episode in their life, or might experience more. Drugs or alcohol can trigger psychotic episodes which might only last for a few days or may cause longer term problems. When psychosis is part of schizophrenia you may have episodes which happen more often and last longer.

Where to get help and support 

If you feel you or your child may be showing signs of psychosis, the first step is to speak to your GP.

Where felt needed, your GP will make a referral to CAMHS who can support young people and their families with diagnosing and supporting you. 

Other sources of support are:

Voice Collective
For children and young people who hear, see and sense things others don’t

Information, help and factsheets about psychosis for young people