What does early psychosis feel like
It’s important to keep in mind that psychosis can manifest very differently in different people, and no single symptom is necessary for a diagnosis. For example, some people diagnosed with schizophrenia hear voices and others don’t.
Experience of psychosis may feel like they’re slowly creeping up on some young people, whereas others go from feeling ‘normal’ to experiencing hugely distressing changes overnight.
Some people may believe that what they’re experiencing is completely real—for example, that the CIA or FBI has placed them under targeted surveillance, while others might know something is wrong—e.g. feel very well aware that they are experiencing symptoms that are scary or distressing.
In their own words
“One day I woke up and there was just this voice, that I’d never heard before, and then it never went away. Saying really mean, really awful things about me.”
“It was very gradual…I started to feel like something was just very ‘off’ about the world, nothing felt right anymore. My parents’ faces looked different. It maybe started to seem like the world wasn’t quite real. I felt more and more scared but didn’t know how to open up about it, and was worried no one would understand.”