Identifying signs of psychosis 

Psychosis feels different to every person and can change over time. 

But there are some common experiences. Many have described early symptoms as feeling like their mind is playing tricks on them, like the world is increasingly out of focus, or like it is a struggle to  “think straight.” 


Common experiences that may indicate psychosis

Unfamiliar thoughts or feelings  

  • Having thoughts or beliefs that seem new or strange to you or others (Examples include: “Others can read my mind”; “The Internet, TV or music is sending me messages”; “I have special powers/abilities”) 
  • Becoming fearful or suspicious (Examples include feeling that people are against you or want to harm you) 

Sensory or perceptual changes 

  • Hearing sounds or voices that others don’t seem to notice 
  • Seeing figures or shadows that others don’t see 
  • Having other perceptual experiences related to touch, smell, or taste that others don’t notice 
  • Feeling confused about what is real and what is imaginary 

Withdrawal or loss of motivation 

  • Feeling disconnected or withdrawing from your friends and family 
  • Losing interest in everyday activities or caring for yourself 
  • Feeling less pleasure from things that used to be enjoyable 

Changes in your typical routine 

  • Having difficulty concentrating, organizing thoughts or expressing ideas clearly to others 
  • Having trouble understanding what you are reading or what people are saying to you 
  • Having extra energy which may keep you awake for days, or low energy that makes you feel unmotivated 


If you’re having any of these experiences, or other new experiences that you don’t understand, it may be psychosis or it may be a sign that you are at risk for developing psychosis. This can be hard to figure out on your own, and the Path Program is here to help.  

Learn how the Path Program can help