If you experience a psychotic episode, you enter a state where you are unable to distinguish between your inner conceptions, fantasies and the actual reality around you. You may suffer from either a transient or “reactive” psychotic episode, or experience recurring psychotic episodes as symptoms of a psychiatric diagnosis such as schizophrenia. Most people who suffer from a psychotic episode recover over time, partially or entirely, but treatment reduces the risk of new psychotic episodes.
Changed self-image and reality perception during psychosis
The person may experience a delusion about themselves. It is common for a psychotic person to perceive themselves as changed. For example, a person who is psychotic may believe that they are a historical person who represents evil or other characteristics. One person experiencing psychosis may become angry and want to confront others, another feels like a saviour and wants to embrace everyone nearby, while a third turns inward and becomes withdrawn. It seems absurd or unpleasant to others.
Conflicts with others during psychosis
The perception that others do not understand what is being discussed, share your concerns or see the things that you think are obvious in your surroundings can be very frustrating if you are experiencing psychosis. Therefore, psychosis often involves conflict with the people around you.
What is the cause of psychosis?
It is not entirely clear why a person develops psychosis, but there may be an individual vulnerability involving heredity, upbringing or particularly traumatic experiences. There is also a connection between drugs such as hashish and marijuana and psychoses. Vulnerability to psychosis increases if you have severe insomnia, anxiety, hypomania or depression. If you have recurrent and prolonged psychotic episodes, you have an illness for which you need treatment.
What sort of help can I receive for psychosis?
You need to have a psychiatric examination before you can receive the correct treatment. Depending on your difficulties, you may need several treatments such as medication, therapy and other psychosocial support. To receive well-coordinated care, it is helpful to receive a care plan.
Most people recover from a psychotic episode
You may need support and help from those around you in order to recover. You need to understand what happened to you and what you can do to avoid entering that state again. You may need medication for a long time, you need to learn to recognise early signs of psychosis and you need to know how to contact the healthcare services in order to avoid a new psychotic episode.