Psychosis is a mental health problem that causes people to perceive or interpret things differently from those around them. This might involve hallucinations or delusions.
The two main symptoms of psychosis are:
- hallucinations – where a person hears, sees and, in some cases, feels, smells or tastes things that aren’t there; a common hallucination is hearing voices
- delusions – where a person believes things that, when examined rationally, are obviously untrue – for example, thinking your next door neighbour is planning to kill you
The combination of hallucinations and delusional thinking can often severely disrupt perception, thinking, emotion, and behaviour.
Experiencing the symptoms of psychosis is often referred to as having a psychotic episode.