Information Zone

You may be asking yourself a number of questions, let’s see if we can answer these…

What Causes Psychosis?

There is no one cause for psychosis. The most widely accepted view is that we all have some level of risk of developing a mental health problem but the level of risk depends on the make-up of our brain and the level of stress we have in our lives. Let’s think about some of the things that might affect each of these.

Different people have different ways of understanding psychosis and what causes it. For example, in some cultures it is common to understand psychosis as being the result of supernatural causes, such as possession by Jinn or evil spirits, or the result of black magic. There is no definitive answer to what causes psychosis. The important thing is to understand how best to support your friend or relative in their recovery journey.

Watch Siobhan talk about the experience of hearing voices.

How Common Is Psychosis?

Psychosis is more common than most people think. It’s difficult to get exact figures but about 3 in every 100 people will experience a psychotic episode at some time in their lives. The most likely time is in young adulthood. Some of these people will fully recover, but many will continue to have further mental health difficulties during their lives. However, the severity and impact on lives varies. Early Intervention Services try to get help to people as quickly as possible as this can help to:

  • Reduce the impact of psychosis
  • Improve life chances
  • Reduce risk of further episodes

What Is It Like To Have Psychosis?

The best way to understand what it is like to have psychosis is to talk to people who have had this experience as they are the real experts.

Have you asked your relative what it is like?
What has your relative told you about their illness?

If it is too difficult to talk to your relatives about this at the moment, other ways to understand what it is like may be to read personal accounts by people with psychosis or watch films made about people’s experiences of living with psychosis. We have listed some in the Resource Directory.