Psychosis is not a mental illness and therefore does not fall within a category. It shares very similar characteristics to Schizophrenia, however they are two distinctly separate conditions. Psychosis is a symptom group that involves a loss of touch with reality, this includes hallucinations and delusions and disorganised thinking. It is on its own not a mental illness. Schizophrenia is a mental illness characterised by the same features of psychosis including negative cognitive symptoms, lack of motivation and emotion, and disorganised thoughts and behaviours. In simple terms Psychosis is the term used to describe a set of symptoms that indicate someone has experienced a break from reality.

Psychosis is a feature of numerous different mental illnesses including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It can affect people with dementia and brain injuries. It can also be caused by taking certain substances including cannabis, cocaine and meth. Some people experience psychosis when coming off alcohol or certain medications such as sleeping tablets.


  • The data shows that more men than women have psychosis. Between the ages of 18 and 59 years, higher numbers of men have psychosis, while for ages 60 years and over, higher numbers of women have psychosis.
  • 6% of the population say they have experienced at least one symptom of psychosis.
  • Psychosis usually first emerges in young people between the ages of 15 and 30.
  • 38% of people recover after a first episode of psychosis, and symptoms improve for 58% of people.


  • Hallucinations (Sees, hears, feels, smells or tastes something that is not there)
  • Delusions (a belief held with complete conviction, even though it’s based on a mistaken, strange or unrealistic view).
  • Disorganised thought.


For a full list of treatments available please click on the following link – Treatment – Psychosis – NHS (

Organisations and resources

Useful contacts – psychosis – Mind