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Psychotic symptoms

BMJ Group Medical Reference

If you have severe mania or bipolar depression, there is a chance you will experience psychosis. If you have psychosis, it means that you lose touch with reality. This can be frightening. But treatment with antipsychotic medicines can relieve your symptoms and bring an end to a bout of psychosis.

Not everyone who has bipolar disorder will get psychosis. But if you do, here are some of the things that might happen. [10]


Hallucinations are when you see or hear things that aren't there, that no one else can see or hear. For example, you might hear voices inside your head that no one else can hear.


Delusions are beliefs that you hold very firmly, even when they don't stand up to reason. During a bout of mania you may feel you are extremely important or powerful. In a bout of depression you may feel that you are totally worthless or that you have done something terribly wrong.

Problems communicating

During a bout of psychosis your thoughts and speech may be very sped up or slowed down. This can make it hard for other people to understand what you mean. You might find this very frustrating.

Without treatment, psychosis could last for about four months. If you do have treatment, your symptoms should calm down in a few days to a couple of weeks.



A delusion is a belief you have that couldn't possibly be true. For example, you may feel that somebody is out to harm you even after it's been shown not to be true. Or you may believe that a famous person is in love with you even though you've never met him or her.


If you have hallucinations, you perceive things that aren't really there. You may see things that don't exist or hear voices when nobody's talking. Or you may get a crawling feeling on your skin when there isn't anything on it. Hallucinations can make you feel frightened and agitated.

For more terms related to Bipolar disorder


For references related to Bipolar disorder click here.
Last Updated: July 17, 2013
This information does not replace medical advice.  If you are concerned you might have a medical problem please ask your Boots pharmacy team in your local Boots store, or see your doctor.

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