Psychosis, also referred to as psychotic disorders, are a group of mental health conditions that affect thinking and perceptions. The two most common symptoms are hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that others do not perceive) and delusions (fixed, false beliefs). These symptoms can impact on communication, judgement, behaviours, and general functioning.
In the general Australian adult population, under 1 in 200 will experience a psychotic illness in a 12 month period.
An episode of psychosis refers to when there is an experience of psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations (seeing, hearing, sensations of things that others do not perceive), delusions (strong beliefs that are unlikely to be true or are irrational to others), confused thinking, changed behaviours and feelings, and confused or incoherent speech. Other difficulties may include sleeping problems, depression, anxiety, social withdrawal, poor motivation, and lowered functioning.
An episode of psychosis may only last a few days or weeks and only a few times in a lifetime, or be more frequent and severe. Psychotic disorders usually first emerge in late teens, 20 and 30s.
Different types of psychotic disorders include: