Trigger warning: discussion of psychosis and acute mental health.
Psychosis is something that I have experienced but havn’t ever fully written about as it can be quite a confusing, painful and scary subject
However, today I had some time to write a blog about it and thought I would share my experiences to educate others and raise awareness.
What is psychosis?
Psychosis takes many forms- its when your brain goes into a heightened psychotic state- meaning you could start believing things that aren’t real (delusions), hearing voices or seeing hallucinations, talking to yourself, being convinced you are in grave danger- about to be attacked or killed for example (linked to delusional beliefs). Along side psychosis you may also get what is known as ‘grandiose’ beliefs. This means that you believe you can do absolutely anything or that you have super powers/ can run the world/are a religious saviour, for example.
What is important to note is that every human with psychosis is an individual with unique brain chemistry and so not everyone will present in the same way or have the same symptoms. Furthermore, you may be diagnosed with an illness such as bipolar affective disorder, schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder which can trigger your unique symptoms or alternatively, psychosis can be brought on by drug use such as ‘skunk’ (a potent form of cannabis) or other hard drugs.
How can we treat psychosis?
Its likely that if your symptoms are really bad you will be encouraged to go into hospital so you can be treated under a psychiatrist and given anti psychotic medications. These medications (some older and some new drugs) work to stop the heightened thoughts, delusions, voices etc….. and slowly bring you down from the psychotic state.
This is even more important if psychosis was brought about by drug use, to be in an environment where you cannot take drugs. Furthermore, If you have a diagnosed illness or a suspected illness, the care you will receive in hospital by mental health nurses and psychiatric team is generally good and you will be monitored and watched.
I experienced bad psychosis in 2014 during a bipolar manic episode. While I never heard voices or saw hallucinations, I had very bad delusions about the world and was extremely fearful. I thought that I had been kidnapped and was being watched in hospital by a gang (including the nurses). This eased over time as I was given Haloperidol and tranquilisers to slowly bring me down over a few months by a medical team. Thankfully the medication expertly worked on my brain and I was monitored carefully.
I have written this to say- you can survive psychosis and go back to a relatively normal life. Everyone is an individual so this isn’t the same for everyone, especially if you have addictions. For me though as someone with bipolar disorder controlled on medication, I have been able to get back to a happier and normal, stable life.