The truth is, it is possible for anyone to experience symptoms of psychosis. There are lots of reasons and circumstances that might lead to an individual having psychosis.
The most likely reason for an individual to experience psychosis is due to having a mental illness like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, psychotic depression or schizoaffective disorder. Most of the information on this website (e.g. causes of mental illness, treatment and care, support and services, and medication) focuses of serious mental health problems and illnesses. For more information about each condition, visit the page on diagnosing mental health conditions.
It is also possible for people with dementia and Parkinson’s disease to have delusions and hallucinations, without having a mental illness.
There are also many people who have experiences that seem psychotic or who hear voices when they are young but do not become unwell as adults.
It is possible for those who have certain types of personality disorder to experience psychosis symptoms.
Symptoms of psychosis might also occur because of disease or a physical health problem. For example, people who have urinary tract infections or chest infections can become delirious, particularly when they are elderly. Individuals who have undergone surgery might also experience delirium afterwards. They may hallucinate or have confused thinking or delusions.
Another cause of psychotic symptoms can come from drinking alcohol regularly to excess or consuming drugs, Psychotic symptoms can also appear with some forms of epilepsy or with a brain tumour.
Often, stress, anxiety, sleep deprivation and medication can trigger psychotic-like experiences.
If someone you know has unusually worrying or distressing experiences or hears voices, they need to speak to a GP and arrange a specialist referral for tests to be carried out.