Explains what psychosis is, including possible causes and how you can access treatment and support. Includes tips for helping yourself, and guidance for friends and family.

Your stories

My experience of psychosis

Posted on 24/10/2013

Hearing voices with bipolar disorder

Katie, who has bipolar disorder, describes her experience of hearing voices when she is manic or depressed.

Posted on 16/12/2014

Mind podcast - Living with psychosis

Reka describes her three very different episodes of psychosis and why she'd rather have another one than take

Posted on 13/03/2013

Why do I experience psychosis?

Psychosis can be a symptom of lots of different mental health problems. If you have one or more of these diagnoses then you may experience psychosis - and if you experience psychosis (and you have other symptoms too) then you may be given one of these diagnoses:

But you might also experience psychosis on its own. Some ideas about things that make psychosis more likely include:

  • physical illness or injury - you may see or hear things if you have a high fever, head injury, or lead or mercury poisoning. If you have Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease you may also experience hallucinations or delusions.
  • drugs - you may hear or see things as a result of taking street drugs like cannabis and LSD, as a side effect of some prescribed drugs or if you are coming off psychiatric drugs.
  • lack of sleep - you may experience hallucinations if you have a severe lack of sleep.
  • hunger - you may experience hallucinations if you are very hungry, have low blood sugar or if you are not getting enough food.
  • bereavement - if you have recently lost someone, you may hear them talking to you. You may also feel that they are with you even though you can't see them.
  • abuse or trauma - if you have experienced abuse or a very traumatic event, you are more likely to experience psychosis.
  • spiritual experiences - some people experience voices or visions as part of a spiritual experience. This may be a positive experience for you - it may make you feel special or help you make sense of your life. It could be a negative experience - for example you may feel that you're possessed by an evil spirit or that you are an important religious person.
  • family inheritance - you are more likely to experience psychosis if a blood relative has also experienced it.


This information was published in August 2016. We will revise it in 2019.

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