Mental Health

Psychosis & Schizophrenia

Lesson 7

Psychosis can lead to disturbing thoughts, or hearing and seeing things that aren't there. Schizophrenia also severely affects the way you think - but it does not mean having a split personality.

There are no clear causes, but family issues, drug and alcohol abuse, genes and stress are all thought to play a part.


People with psychosis can lose touch with reality, showing symptoms that include:

Hallucinations: Seeing things and hearing voices that aren't real

Delusions: Believing things that aren't true, like imagining you're being followed

Disturbing and confusing thoughts

Not realising something is wrong

People with schizophrenia also experience these symptoms, along with others such as:

  • Lack of motivation and interest  
  • Low sex drive
  • Slow movement                                          
  • Less interest in socialising
  • Sleep disruption


Schizophrenia and psychosis can be life-long conditions, but you can manage your symptoms and live a full life. Some people even find that their symptoms disappear completely.

They can be treated by anti-psychotic drugs and cognitive behavioural therapy, along with psychoeducation and family therapy. 

A specialist mental health team can provide additional support.

If you have any symptoms described on this page, it's a good idea to talk to your GP.