I CAN’T TELL
what’s real any more!
PREVIOUS: Disorders 5c
SITE: 12 types of psychosis
Psychosis is a severe mental illness caused by a combination of inherited genes, & things a person experiences or is exposed to in life (traumatic birth, poison, diseases of the nervous system such as epilepsy & Parkinson’s, syphilis, drug use, severe social changes/ traumatic events…..)
It’s a group of extreme disorders expressed in abnormal thinking & perception – a gradual inability to distinguish oneself from one’s surroundings, ie. losing touch with reality. Psychological defenses become overloaded by stress & the sufferer breaks down, making it hard to separate ones thoughts & experiences from what’s going on outside. The most common form is Schizophrenia. (See site above)
Psychosis may or may not be a part of other mental illnesses as well, such as Bipolar, post-partum depression (about 1 in every 1,000 mothers, within a few weeks after giving birth), suddenly after a major stress, when using or withdrawing from drugs….
People in the grip of psychotic disorders experience themselves & the world very differently from psychopaths & sociopaths, who are usually very grounded in reality, understand what they’re doing & the consequences of their actions, but just don’t care.
EXP: A psychopath or a sociopath might kill someone’s dog because he/she wants to cause emotional trauma to the owner
• A psychotic might kill the dog because he/she thought it was robot sent to take over the world
While it’s not so easy for a person with a psychotic disorder to recognizing their own symptoms, they are acutely aware of experiencing pain & fear, which may cause the person to hurt themselves or others. This mental illness affects 3 out of every 100 people (1% of the population), can be a one-time ‘break’, episodic or long-term, most likely diagnosed in young adults.
• Delusions – fixed beliefs & ideas that are usually false, including religious or persecutory delusion, or a false belief of superiority. EXP: convinced someone’s plotting against them, that the TV is sending secret messages, seeing a ‘spiritual’ entity, being watched by the police because of the way cars are parked outside the house…..
• Thoughts are confused, blurred or difficult to express, can seem to speed up or slow down, or belief that thoughts aren’t their own. There’s difficulty concentrating, following a conversation, memory loss or amnesia
• Speech will often be jumbled or slurred, rapid & frenzied
• Suspiciousness – being worried or even scared of everyone they know, including family & friends. They feel uneasy without knowing why
• Superstition – believing in the unreal, includes: confusion about dreams, thinking that others can read your mind, frequently experiencing déjà vu, thinking that small events have a meaningful connection between them, & often coming up with far-fetched theories about why things happen
• Social impairment – isolated, trouble with social situations, not conforming to behavioral standards or responding correctly to social cues
• Reactions can be infantile, prone to insults & swearing. They can forget self-care, such personal hygiene & housework, be disoriented,
• Physical – disorganized or compulsive behavior, repetitive movements, self-harm, slowness in activity, or lack of restraint
Exaggerated /unreal experiences
• Hallucinations – false perceptions, affecting the 5 senses, experienced more intensely that is realistic/true, or hearing, seeing, feeling something that’s not there) which can cause fear & paranoia
EXP: Interpreting everyday sounds as having new or special meaning, hearing something louder than actual, shadows are seen as human figures…..
• Hypochondria – the irrational/exaggerated fear of having or getting a disease or illness, causing health-related anxiety, & will constantly looking for symptoms & for things that might affect their health.
• Emotions – A general discontent, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, tendency to be irritable & aggressive, or lack of normal emotional responses. It includes anger, anxiety, apathy, feeling detached from self, & inappropriate emotional responses such as being easily agitated when talked to
• Shifts in mood can occur often, throughout the day, in 2 phases: a manic period (high), feeling happy & energized. It’s followed by low mood, feeling sad & dull, with loss of appetite or difficulty sleeping. Psychotics tend to be irritable & aggressive, & may be easily agitated when talked to.