Reality Check

Our brain can play tricks on us. Sometimes these can be serious.

What is psychosis?

Psychosis is a medical condition where a person's brain isn't working properly and this makes it difficult to tell what is real from what is not real. It is characterized by some loss of contact with reality. Check your realityPsychosis keeps our brain from working well:

  • Perceptions are altered, making things that are not real seem real
  • Thinking becomes jumbled and unrealistic ideas develop
  • Feelings and emotions towards self, others or the outside world change or are exaggerated
  • The intense changing slants on reality may trigger feelings of dread, panic, fear and anxiety

What to look forWhen psychosis happens

  • Symptoms may start gradually and only appear occasionally
  • There is a period of time when symptoms are intense and interfere with a young person’s life
  • It can be a frightening experience
  • It may last only a short period of time or it may continue sporadically for weeks, months or even years, unless the young person receives medical care
  • There may be a desire to deny or be secretive about what is happening because of the fear of being different


Getting help as early as possible is important. 


psychosis Fact Sheet