Schizophrenia and Psychosis

Antipsychotic drugs are principally designed to treat conditions where people have ‘psychotic’ symptoms.

Psychotic symptoms consist of unusual thoughts and experiences. You might have hallucinations. These are experiences where you see or hear things that other people do not see or hear. The most common type of hallucination is hearing voices.

You might have some ideas or beliefs that other people find unusual, such as that someone is poisoning you, or that you are receiving messages from God or a supernatural being. You might think that programmes on the television or radio are referring to you, or that someone or something is controlling your thoughts and actions. The illness might also cause strange symptoms, inappropriate behaviours and frightening experiences. 

Psychotic symptoms can occur in many situations. Sometimes they happen when you are under stress. Sometimes they are brought on by the use of street drugs like cannabis and amphetamines. Sometimes there is no obvious cause.

If these symptoms don’t go away, then you might be diagnosed with a condition like schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder or bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression). If you are thought to have one of these conditions, you may be recommended to take antipsychotic drugs on a long-term basis. That is why it is important that you have an opportunity to think about your medication.

For more information about psychotic symptoms visit the following websites:

For more information about schizophrenia visit the following websites:

For information about bipolar disorder or manic depression visit the following websites: