A teenage girl sitting in her bed at night time. A table lamp is shining on the girls while she holds her head in her hands.

The word psychosis is used to describe a condition and a set of symptoms that include delusions, hallucinations and disturbed thinking.

Experiencing some of these symptoms at one time is called a psychotic episode. 

For some people, psychotic episodes last for a few days. For others, they can last until they are treated. Some people experience psychotic episodes frequently while others only experience them rarely. 

During a psychotic episode, you may believe you are being followed or your life is in danger. You might not know you are unwell during a psychotic episode and may believe that what you are experiencing is real. 

Psychosis can be a symptom of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, some forms of personality disorder and Parkinson’s disease.

It can also be caused by:

  • drug or alcohol abuse
  • severe stress, anxiety or depression
  • sleep deprivation
  • rare side-effects of certain types of medication. 

Where to find support:

Shine is a national organisation that provides information and support to people affected by psychosis and other mental health difficulties, as well as their families. 

Website: shine.ie

HSE WebsitePsychosis


If you’re thinking about suicide or self-harm or if you need help right away, call 999 or 112

There are also specific support lines that you can call:

Samaritans Ireland – 116 123

Pieta House – 1800 247 247


Childline can also be contacted by any child or young person by calling 1800 66 66 66, texting to 50101 or chatting online at Childline.ie 24 hours a day, every day.

Recommended Posts