Emerging Psychosis

Psychosis is when a person loses some contact with reality. This can involve seeing or hearing things which others cannot, in other words, hallucinations. In some case people with psychosis also believe things which are not actually true, this is called being delusional.

As psychosis emerges it can be detected by gradual deterioration of intellectual and social functioning. However, emerging psychosis is not very easy to detect as it can be signalled in many different forms. In most cases GPs suspect that something is “a bit off” prior to the emergence of clear psychosis. However, there are some early signs which can help detect emerging psychosis such as:  

    • Poor sleep or issues with falling asleep 
    • Mood changes which are unusual for the person. This could be changes in mood being more frequent and going from one extreme to another very quickly.  
    • Distancing oneself from others by not engaging socially like someone might have done before 
    • Isolating oneself  
    • Conflicts in relationships or relationships being broken 
    • Hallucinations 
    • Delusions 

The keys to early detection of psychosis are GP recognition of early changes, clinical intuition and acting on family or friend’s concerns.  

How can the University Support you?

The Mental Health Support Team is here to provide practical support to students experiencing mental health difficulties. Support can be provided by helping you evaluate the practical impact that mental health difficulties may be having on you as a student. The team can talk through the support needs you feel you may have and address these directly or through referral to other services. 

What to do next?

Seek Support from GP

If you suspect the possibility of psychosis emerging, it is important to act promptly. Speak to a GP as soon as possible. 

Emergency Services

If you think someone may be in immediate danger you can call emergency services on 999 or campus security on 01509 222141 

What should I do if I am worried about somebody else?

Should you be concerned about someone, you can contact a GP on their behalf. 

If they're receiving support from a mental health service, you could contact their mental health worker.

If you think that the person requires urgent treatment or their symptoms are putting them at possible risk, you can:   

    • take them to the nearest A&E,  
    • if they agreecall their GP or local out-of-hours GP 

    • call 999 and ask for an ambulance 

    • A number of mental health helplines are also available that can offer expert advice. 

External Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main symptoms?

    • hallucinations 
    • delusions 
    • confused and disturbed thoughts

Last Updated: 27th February 2024