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.
How can I help myself?
These suggestions could help you cope with psychosis. You may choose to try them on their own or alongside treatment. Here are some ideas:
Peer support brings together people who've had similar experiences to support each other. You could access peer support online or try a support group in your local area.
You can find peer support groups for psychosis through:
It might be helpful to keep a diary of things that might have triggered a psychotic experience, such as:
- life events
- your mood
- your diet
- lack of sleep.
You could do this in a notebook, or use an app or online tool.
Keeping a diary can help you:
- understand what triggers your psychosis or makes it worse
- think about what has been helpful in the past
- recognise warning signs that tell you when you are becoming unwell.
Once you have a better understanding of your triggers, you can try to take steps to avoid or manage them. If you learn to recognise your warning signs, you can take action early to try and prevent your psychosis getting worse.
Family and friends may also be able to help you spot when you are becoming unwell, including noticing early symptoms before your experience psychosis.
- Manage your stress. Our pages on managing stress can help you manage pressure and build up your coping skills.
- Try some relaxation techniques. Our pages on relaxation have lots of suggestions for looking after your wellbeing when you are feeling stressed, anxious or busy.
I painted regularly - something I hadn't done for years but felt inspired to do.
Looking after your physical health can make a difference to how you feel emotionally. For example, it can help to:
- Try to get enough sleep. Sleep can help give you the energy to cope with difficult feelings and experiences. See our pages on coping with sleep problems.
- Think about your diet. Eating regularly and keeping your blood sugar stable can make a difference to your mood and energy levels. See our pages on food and mood.
- Try to do some physical activity. Exercise can be really helpful for your mental wellbeing. See our pages on physical activity.
- Spend time outside. Spending time in green space can boost your wellbeing. See our pages on nature and mental health.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol. While you might want to use drugs or alcohol to cope with difficult feelings, in the long run they can make you feel a lot worse and can prevent you from dealing with any underlying problems that the drug or alcohol use may have been masking. See our pages on recreational drugs and alcohol.
I think a routine of structure, quiet and an unpressurised environment, combined with medication, was ultimately the key to my recovery.
During a crisis you may not be able to tell people what helps you. When you are feeling well it can be a good idea to talk to someone you trust about what you would like to happen (or not to happen) when you are in crisis.
It might help to create a crisis plan. See our page on crisis plans for more information.
This information was published in January 2020. We will revise it in 2023.
References and bibliography available on request.
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