Psychosis and young people

‘Psychosis’ is a term for a range of symptoms where a person’s beliefs, thoughts, feelings, senses, and behaviours are altered. Psychosis can cause someone to misinterpret or confuse what’s going on around them. An episode of psychosis is a period where someone has more intense or severe symptoms of psychosis that last for more than a week and that interfere with their day-to-day life.

Overall, about 50 per cent of people who develop a psychotic disorder will do so by the time they are in their early 20s. It can be treated and many people can make a good recovery. Most people have a period of time leading up to the onset of an episode of psychosis, in which they start to experience these symptoms, but less frequently or less severely. The earlier these symptoms are recognised and help sought, the better for recovery.