Psychosis | What Is Psychosis? | Signs Of Psychosis

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by ★ SF Staff (CP), Sep 22, 2015.

  1. ★ SF Staff (CP)

    ★ SF Staff (CP) Administrator Staff Member Safety & Support

    Hi everyone!!

    This thread is all about psychosis and psychotic disorders and provides information on what the disorder is, the signs and symptoms, treatments and provides a list of links and resources that you may find useful. We also welcome you to discuss your experiences with psychosis in this thread with other members.

    What is psychosis?

    Psychosis is a mental health issue that causes people to perceive the world around them differently from people around them and can be described as “losing contact with reality”. People who experience psychosis may present with bizarre and unusual behaviour with personality changes depending on the severity of the illness. People with psychosis can suffer with delusions, hallucinations, or both and in many cases severely impairs insight. It is a very severe condition that can put somebody or others at risk depending on the severity of symptoms so it is important that you seek help immediately if you believe you are suffering with symptoms of psychosis.

    Some common psychotic disorders include:

    Schizophrenia – This is a mental illness that affects the way that you think and psychiatrists class this a psychotic illness. It consists of delusional thinking, hallucinations, disordered thinking and personality changes. Schizophrenia usually starts when you are younger and is a chronic mental health illness but with the right treatment you can achieve stability.
    Bipolar Disorder - A mood disorder that can include psychotic symptoms
    Drug/alcohol induced psychosis - Psychosis induced by drugs and alcohol
    Psychotic depression - Major depression with psychotic symptoms
    Post-partum psychosis/depression - Psychosis that can manifest after giving birth to a baby. This is a severe condition and requires immediate medical attention!

    Some people mistake psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia as having a split personality, but this is a misconception. Having psychosis means you are experiencing something that seems real to you, but in reality is not what other people are experiencing.

    Signs and Symptoms

    Symptoms of psychosis can be split into 4 categories, these are:


    Hallucinations are where somebody perceives something and believe it is there when in reality it is not and can affect all of the 5 senses.
    -Sight – Somebody who is hallucinating may see objects, people or animals that are not there. This is not always an unpleasant experience, but some images and experiences can be terrifying.
    -Sounds – Somebody who is hallucinating may hear unpleasant, angry or derogatory voices that are telling them horrible things about themselves or encouraging them to harm themselves or carry out an act. Not all voices are unpleasant and can be friendly to the person who hears them. Some people may even have a mixture of good voices and bad voices.
    - Touch – Somebody who is hallucinating may think somebody is touching them when there is nothing there.
    -Taste – Some people suffering with psychosis complain that they have a horrible taste in their mouth
    -Smell – Some people with psychosis can smell scents that aren’t there. These can be bother pleasant and unpleasant.


    Delusions are patterns of disordered thinking where a person has a belief that something is real when in fact it is not. These can be split into 3 categories:

    -Paranoid delusions – These are delusions where somebody with psychosis may feel like they are being persecuted or followed. An example of this would be the belief that the government has tried to implant mind control devices in their brain and may be paranoid that there are cameras and microphones in their house.
    -Delusions of grandeur – These are delusions where a person with psychosis may believe they are a person of importance and significance with a specific mission. An example of this is somebody believe they are a prophet and are on a special mission from God. Other people may think they have to decipher a special message.
    -Delusions of reference – These are delusions where a person with psychosis may believe that there are special messages for them in songs, on the radio and on the TV or can hear people talking to them via these means.

    Disordered Thought

    People with psychosis may experience very disordered thoughts and thinking. This can include rapid and constant speech, swapping from one topic to another mid-sentence and sudden loss in train of thought resulting in an abrupt pause in conversation or activity.

    Lack of Insight

    People suffering with psychosis are often unaware that their behaviour is irrational and that their delusions and hallucinations are not real. They may not even understand that their delusions and behaviour can be dangerous.


    Most people will not actively seek out treatment themselves as they are unaware that they are psychotic and are usually diagnosed in their acute episode where their symptoms are active. Only a psychiatrist can diagnose a psychotic illness. To treat a psychotic episode your psychiatrist will normally prescribe anti-psychotic medication to aid with your psychotic symptoms. For chronic conditions you may require a course of therapy to help you manage your thinking patterns and may attend therapeutic communities.

    Links and Resources

    Here are a few links and resources that may help you when dealing with psychosis:


    Here is a list of resources to help you manage your psychosis:
    If you have any other useful links and resources then please share with us!

    Share Your Experiences!

    Please use this thread to share your experiences of psychosis with other members. Sharing experiences and hints and tips are useful to other members, and be sure to post if are you are looking for support, help and advice.
    pooky likes this.
  2. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    Thank you for this very informative thread.
    When I was on Stilnoct(ambien/zolpidem)- I could see things when I closed my eyes, like little blue lights for instance but they were very comforting and relaxing. One day though after taking it I could see coffins everywhere, it was scary but tolerable. Is this considered psychosis or a side effect?
  3. Butterfly

    Butterfly Sim Addict Staff Alumni SF Author SF Supporter

    It could be psychosis but my general rule of thumb is, if you are experiencing it but able to tell the difference between what is real and what is not it is not likely to be a full psychosis. Sometimes when I take sedating medication I can often hallucinate between the time I take the med and before I go to sleep but I know it's not real.

    At one point I hallucinated dead people knocking at the door and would see spiders crawling everywhere and feel like I had bugs crawling underneath my skin but I kinda knew it wasn't real but it was terrifying none the less. Problems start for me if I hear voices.

    I also struggle with delusions at times. Sometimes I have believed I was meant to deliver a purpose or message and I get really obsessed with things. Other times I believe that I am being followed or someone is out to get me. Last time I was a bit manic I thought the media conglomerates were conspiring against me but I didn't know why lol.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2015
  4. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    wow,scary times indeed!! Yeah,. when I halluincated I knew it was not real but t'was still freaking me out a bit. Seroquel on the other hand, when I took that I did not know what was real, I believe seroquel sent me into psychosis a few times after it stopped agreeing with me.

    Thanks for explaining the difference and sharing your experience, it is frightening but good to know the info :)
  5. Butterfly

    Butterfly Sim Addict Staff Alumni SF Author SF Supporter

    Lynn, you definitely experienced hallucinations, there is a special name for seeing the blue dots but that is not psychosis. The coffins you saw were hallucinations and you may have been mildly psychotic but if it resolved itself and you knew it wasn't real then it's hard to say. A lot of my hallucinations (visual) I know aren't real but it depends on my other symptoms as well.

    However there is no denying that hallucinations and psychosis can be very unpleasant and scary.
  6. bhawk

    bhawk Well-Known Member

    Suffering from a psychotic disorder i found olanzapine has done an amazing job. I do still see and smell the odd hallucination but they are no longer as "real"
    When ill the hallucinations seemed somewhat more real than actual reality. now i can dismiss the odd one. I have someone i can talk to so she knows if anything is starting to get out of hand but so far the meds are as good as i could wish for.
    I also found along with the diminishing reality of hallucinations, i also stopped having the delusions too....GO OLANZAPINE!
  7. sashasara

    sashasara Member

    I have had the diagnosis of psychosis in the past and it has changed to delusional disorder. I wish I could talk to someone about it. Someone who would listen. The truth is I'm not crazy. I just know the truth about the government implanting microchips into our brains to control our minds. But if I say that to someone they don't listen. It's hard.
  8. Inspire&Inquire

    Inspire&Inquire SF Supporter

    In my own experience, I suffer from delusions of grandeur, and in extreme cases, after sleep loss, have suffered from disorganized speech. These have also been accompanied by a mood disorder, either unstoppable confidence or a feeling of bliss. These symptoms seem to be accompanied by a loss of sleep and neglecting to take prescribed medications. Early signs are a lack of empathy, I do or say hurtful things and have no idea how I'm coming across. Lack the feeling of remorse. Psychosis usually follows these signs. It feels like when I'm undergoing a psychosis that events are conspiring against me. For instance I'll tell an incredibly offensive joke that I think is funny.
    I have a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, which wasn't mentioned in the article but is similar to having bipolar and schizophrenia at the same time, it is not usually as severe or chronic as schizophrenia is.
  9. Yoyogirl86

    Yoyogirl86 Well-Known Member

    I experienced a psychotic break two weeks ago and it was absolutely the worst thing that has ever happened to me and it literally frightened my parents, my dad had to rush home from work in order to take me to a+e. It was like my mind has could completely ripped out of my brain and I was stuck in game i couldn't get out alone. I hadn't slept in 4 days straight just taking tiny cat naps, I wasn't eating that much or drinking my favourite tea, I was so stressed from believing I had killed my dog and in fact it turns out to his gut trouble and had to spend two days in hospital, to having numerous problems at work, one minute telling everything is fine and next minute not knowing if my job is make the 16 the weeks and then desperately running to another job and only lasting two hours crying in the middle of it to Justin Bieber and Ed Sheran and then getting myself into my overdraft and not being able to pay it back.

    I had a mixture of delusions, hallucinations and paranoid and at the hospital i just kicked off big time, i hit a nurse who was trying to help me and i kicked the door when the doctor is coming in. I seriously believed i was on breaking bad as i was talking like them. I remember saying things like i love G, i hate G, i love my parents, hate them want everyone dead and basically changing personalities. I was then high/euphoric and then extremely depressed crying and jumping around complete opposites i know. I so badly wanted to sleep yet my mind and body were jumping.

    Finally when things calmed down,, I spat out a sleeping pill, the doctors there almost sectioned me but they had no beds and decided i would be better off at home where i got to sleep at 6am still in the episode. I then slept for a few days after taking my anti-psychotics and sleeping meds which was given by Dr K and I am now going to see my gp on tuesday for extra help. I am gonna ask about possible injection route if these meds are successful and I am also looking possible day unit for mental health not learning disabilities. If it means a stay in a place thats scary, frightening and sets me off its best if it happens in a safe place and then finally cmht can actually see a crisis, rather than just fob me off with pathetic talking therapies, jobseeking groups and i dn't feel as i am lying to anyone or making all this bs up.
  10. beatdown

    beatdown Well-Known Member

    I have some experiences of this. 2 times Ive seen a white light flash as I was in bed waiting for sleep, and many other times Ive heard voices, usually sounding like my mothers, telling me horrible things about myself, either when Im trying to sleep or just woke up.
  11. birdie5

    birdie5 SF Supporter

    When I was going through a rough time a few years back, my mind broke down. I found myself drawing pictures of animals and objects. The ( not very nice ) people involved were shown as cheetahs. Bats were my protector and I drew pictures of them and put them on my head board so they would protect me. It went away after the situation was resolved.
  12. Nicole tuecke

    Nicole tuecke Well-Known Member

    I think ibhave been experiencing some forbofvthis for awhile now n its driving me crazy
  13. pooky

    pooky Living with A Beautiful Mind...

    I have schizophrenia. I was diagnosed in 2005. I am medication free for six months