Psychosis is an umbrella word describing a group of loosely related abnormalities of thinking, behaving and perceiving. Some of these experiences are very common in society. It is estimated that more than 7% of the population have had psychotic experiences. However, only a small percentage of these people develop a psychotic disorder requiring treatment.
It is only when these experiences are persistent and overwhelming, or are causing distress and difficulties in every day life, that psychosis may be diagnosed.
Around 3% of the population will go through a psychotic disorder at some time in their lives. Psychosis commonly begins in the late teens or twenties. It includes a loss of touch with reality, and develop symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations.