Psychosis is a mental disorder in which thoughts and emotions are so impaired that contact with external reality is lost. Patients with schizophrenia either have hallucinations, delusions or disorganized thinking; usually multiple symptoms are present.
Taking the time to listen to a schizophrenic patient will give you a glimpse into their world; their eyes are the windows to their psychotic reality. When you listen to a schizophrenic patient describe their reality, you will come to realize how different they view the world.
They may hear voices in their head that are “half animal and half human;” can you imagine how frightening this must be for any person? Their entire psychological well-being is disturbed; it feels like a living nightmare. They may also experience bugs crawling on their skin; this is known as tactile hallucinations.
A schizophrenic patient may be very disorganized in their thoughts, often interpreting reality in a distorted way that does not make sense to others. They may believe that their family has turned against them, that people are after them and stealing their clothes or that their mind is being controlled by the government.
It is very sad to obtain a glimpse into the world of a schizophrenic patient; your heart just melts when you come to the realization of how distorted their reality has become over the years. You want to help them as much as you can and you hope that when you come in to work the next day, the patient will be in a better place psychologically; sometimes they are, but other times the rabbit hole became deeper overnight.
We need to come together and be supportive of schizophrenic patients; the mental health stigma must end! They are often very loving and creative individuals; just because they have “lost their mind” does not mean that they should lose our support! We have a responsibility to help our fellow human beings come back on a level playing field and join us in a healthy state of mind!
Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)