Psychosis usually develops over a period of time. Sudden onset can happen but is uncommon. Psychosis often begins with new unusual thoughts or perceptual experiences, changes in feelings or in usual patterns of behaviour that later develop into more intense and often distressing experiences.
Click on the boxes in the image below to learn more about the early symptoms of psychosis. The symptoms listed are ones that emerge when a person first starts to experience mental health challenges and there may be other symptoms that appear later.
Having these experiences doesn't automatically mean you have psychosis. Many of these changes are not unique to psychosis. They may be the result of many things including other types of mental health problems, drug use, a medical problem, or a temporary reaction to stress.
Not everyone experiences the same set of symptoms or to the same level. A person may be diagnosed with psychosis when symptoms persist, are distressing and interfere in a person’s life.
Being able to spot these symptoms and taking action can prevent problems from getting worse.
Concerned About a Friend?
Often friends notice changes that may signal an emerging mental health challenge. For information on how to support a friend, visit Supporting your friend through tough times.