Need urgent help? Find support here.

Need urgent help?


If you find yourself in need of immediate help, call Emergency Services – 911.

These are examples of situations that you should seek immediate help:

  • Thinking about ending your life or trying to end your life.
  • Feeling scared because you’re experiencing sensations that aren’t real and/or beliefs that can’t possibly be true.
  • Becoming unable to care for yourself, and it’s putting you at risk of serious harm.
  • Experiencing an alcohol or any other drug overdose.
  • Taking a dangerous combination of substances (like medications and alcohol).

You can also

  • call the crisis line at 1-800-784-2433
  • chat online with Kids Help Phone
  • SMS/Text Kids Help Phone by texting CONNECT to 686868, if you would like to stop the conversation text STOP

For other phone, chat or text support options, visit our Get Support section.

What to look for: Psychosis

Learn about the thoughts, feelings, behaviours and physical symptoms related to psychosis.

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A psychosis usually develops over a period of time. It can come on more suddenly, but that is uncommon. Most people have their first symptoms between the ages of 17 and 24. The symptoms below are ones that may show up when a person first starts to experience psychosis. Other symptoms may appear later.

Thoughts add

  • Can’t think straight; thoughts are all jumbled and confusing.
  • Believe you have special superhuman powers.
  • Become very suspicious or paranoid. Think others are spying, watching, following or plotting to harm you.
  • Find hidden messages for you on TV, radio or the internet.
  • Are completely convinced about something that is unusual and there is nothing that can prove it’s not true.
  • A sudden intense interested in occult, supernatural or religious beliefs that are not connected to your family or culture.

Feelings add

  • Feel or show less emotion than you used to.

Behaviours add

  • Make changes that concern your family or friends. They say you’re not your usual self.
  • Take part in reckless behaviours that can bring harm.
  • Don’t respond when someone is talking to you.
  • Speak very quickly in a way that is difficult to understand and doesn’t make sense.

Physical Signs add

  • Hear or see things that are not there (such as voices when there’s no one around).
  • Sounds, lights or colours seem more intense than usual.
  • Go days with little or no sleep but feel totally energized.

If you have these experiences, it doesn’t automatically mean you have psychosis. They may be the result of other mental health challenges, a medical problem, a temporary reaction to stress or something else. This is why it is important to get them checked out.

Some people may also experience symptoms of psychosis as a result of cannabis use.  For most people, these symptoms will usually begin to go away as the cannabis wears off.  The symptoms will usually not return unless cannabis is used again.

A very few people with a family history of serious and persistent mental illness or other factors in their life, may develop a longer lasting psychosis. An even smaller number of people who experience a longer psychosis may receive a diagnosis of schizophrenia. If you have a family member with psychosis or schizophrenia and especially if you also develop a temporary psychosis when using cannabis, then you are at very high risk and need to address your use.

Not everyone experiences the same set of symptoms or to the same level. A person may be diagnosed with psychosis when symptoms are very strong, on-going and get in the way of their life.

It is important to get help early in order to recover faster and reduce the negative effect psychosis may have. There are specialized early psychosis treatments and services available.

Concerned about someone else?

Often friends and family are first to notice changes that are very unusual and concerning. For information on:

What Next?

Find out if this is something you are experiencing by taking the self-check. Sometimes help from a professional is needed, check out the Get Support section.