Delusions and hallucinations are the most common symptoms of psychosis. Delusion is like when you strongly believe that you're spied on, followed around, or plotted against, while others can't see any clear evidence for it. Hallucinations include seeing or hearing things that others can't see or hear. These symptoms can cause extreme fear and confusion. People with psychosis sometimes can't think clearly or may feel emotionally detached. They sometimes react to unusual experiences which would look odd to outsiders.  Psychosis is not rare at all. It affects 1 in 200 Australians .

The shorter time that psychosis lasts for, the better the prognosis will be. So it's not surprising that psychoses are mainly classified on how long the symptoms persist. Brief psychotic disorder is when symptoms last for less than one month; schizophreniform disorder is when symptoms continue between one and six months; and schizophrenia is when psychosis persists for six months or longer. There are two other types of psychoses. Schizoaffective disorder is when a person experiences symptoms of both psychosis and bipolar disorder. Finally, delusional disorder is when a person has delusional beliefs but no other psychotic symptoms.

Psychosis can impair a person's function more than any other mental illness. People with psychosis may feel fearful, confused, or mistrustful. They may become irritable and socially withdrawn. Some may not be able to work and run into financial problems. Others may get fed up with their tormenting symptoms and entertain suicidal thoughts. They may not sleep or eat properly, and get physically ill.  Moreover, smoking, drinking, and drug abuse are quite common and are major health issues . Unfortunately, drug abuse is the worst thing to do, because drug abuse can instigate, complicate, and perpetuate psychosis . On the other hand, psychotic symptoms often seem so real that many can't accept that their mind might be playing tricks on them. They can't trust others and may refuse to seek help. So gentle persuasion can be quite important.

Psychosis is treatable. Please read Self-Help and Treatment

If you feel that you or your loved ones are at risk, then please click Here

You can read more about Schizophrenia and its treatment at RANZCP.