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Psychosis

The word 'psychosis' refers to a set of experiences that can be found in a range of mental health problems, for which you really need help and support.

The term refers to changes in a person’s thinking and often includes confused thoughts.

What does psychosis look like?

Psychosis happens when you:

  • you are seeing or hear things those around you aren’t experiencing, for example hearing voices, and/or seeing things (hallucinations).
  • you have strong unusual or delusional ideas, So for example, you might think you have magical powers, but other people wouldn’t agree.
  • delusions can be ‘paranoid’ and extremely distressing, when you think someone is out to harm or hurt you.
  • your thoughts are muddled, speeding up or slowing down.
  • you have muddled speech and mood changes.

When does it happen?

Psychosis can be caused by:

  • extreme stress
  • a longer term mental illness
  • trauma
  • drugs and alcohol

An episode of psychosis is often brought about by a combination of stressful experiences or situations and the sensitivity of the individual at that time.

How is it treated?

If you are struggling with psychosis you may:

  • get support through talking therapies
  • be helped to make changes in the way you live
  • be given medication to help to reduce symptoms
  • receive family and carer information, therapy and support.

The NHS Bradford early intervention team (01274 221 021) are health and social work experts who are there to support you if you're experiencing psychosis for the first time. They aim to help you to overcome psychosis and get on with your life.

Top tips for getting help

Keep a diary Keep a diary of the voices and the times and places they occur, you can then plan to be with people at these times for support or avoid the situations and places that can trigger them.
Voices can be triggered or made worse by stress, take time to relax, try practising relaxation exercises daily, they can help you learn how to relax and calm yourself. Try laying or sitting in a quiet distraction free room, closing your eyes and focussing on your breathing, try taking slow breaths, breathing in for a count of four and breathing out to the count of four.
Listen to music Some people who experience hearing voices find that listening to music on a phone or I Pod /MP3 helps to distract them or drown out the voices.
If you feel you may have Psychosis, Get help – Make an appointment to see your GP or school nurse and ask for a referral to someone who can help you.

More helpful info

You can also find some useful tips for treatment and support on the Young Mind website.

The NHS Bradford early intervention team are health and social work experts who are there to support you if you're experiencing psychosis for the first time. They aim to help you to overcome psychosis and get on with your life.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPSYCH) have some really helpful information for young people about psychosis.

Local information

Bradford and Airedale Early intervention in Psychosis Team

The Early Intervention Team provides assessment, help and support for individuals aged 14-35 who may have recently experienced a first episode of psychosis, or request help for the first time for psychotic experiences that affect their life, goals and aspirations.

Call the helpful team on 01274 221 021

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