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Updated : August 1, 2022 2 mins read

Psychosis | Support for professionals

Updated : August 1, 2022 2 mins read

Article Psychosis

Psychosis is when a person experiences hallucinations, delusions or disordered thinking. Psychosis is more likely in late teens to early adulthood however can occasionally be seen in early childhood.

Signs a young person might have psychosis

The three main symptoms of psychosis are:

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Disordered thinking

What you might see in a young person with psychosis:

  • Seeing or hearing things that no one else can
  • Drop in their ability to focus or concentrate
  • They might say that can see or hear someone they have recently lost
  • Thinking that people on the TV or radio are speaking to them directly
  • Seeing secret messages or connections in normal day things
  • Becoming suspicious or paranoid
  • Talking about strange or unusual things that aren’t true
  • Believing they are powerful or can control things
  • Acting in bizarre or unusual ways
  • Their speech becoming fast, difficult to understand, jumping from topic to topic
  • Incoherent talking; not making sense

It is less likely that you will be in a position to spot early warning signs of psychosis, however you may notice things like:

  • Appeared withdrawn
  • Not socialising with friends or appear interested in activities
  • Drop in their focus
  • Appearing distracted
  • Emergence of strange or unusual beliefs or behaviour

If you are aware that a young person has episodes of psychosis and recognise these signs you should raise your concerns with their family or appropriate services.

Supporting a young person with psychosis

It’s important to involve the young person as much as possible with any support they would like or need. It is best to have these conversations when the young person is feeling well and not experiencing any symptoms of psychosis.

What support can look like:

  • The young person may want to share any treatment plans or crisis plans with you
  • Talk to the young person about triggers or signs that they might be struggling and what can help them
  • Learn about psychosis and try to understand what the young person is going through
  • Provide appropriate and reasonable adjustments if a young person is having an episode of psychosis or is recovering from one. This might look like:
    • Extending deadlines at school
    • Changing appointments or letting them be cancelled with short notice
    • Reducing demands or expectations

Get Help now

If you are concerned about your mental health, or if you have found yourself feeling concerned about someone else, you can:

Call 111 – NHS 24

Call 116 123 – The Samaritans

Call 0800 83 85 87 – Breathing Space

Text: ‘YM’ to 85258 – Young Minds crisis chat

If you think you are in danger of hurting yourself or other people, you should call 999 or present to your local A&E department.