Psychotic And COVID-19 Positive

Psychotic man leaning on frosted glass panel door

When Mental Illness Trumps COVID-19

When psychosis infects your brain and reality retires on vacation, anything can hit you and you’ll likely remain oblivious. That’s because psychosis takes over your thoughts and the way you interpret reality. Imagine the part of your mind that is in tune with reality laying on the beach holding a corona and stating, “I’m done . . . I can no longer deal with his psychosis. Peace.” What’s left in your brain is psychosis with an evil smile stating, “My turn.”

The problem with psychosis is that even patients who are infected with COVID-19 may not be aware of their symptoms . . . or they may be aware but not fully comprehend the nature and severity of their illness and situation. You may try to explain to them that they are infected with a deadly disease and they may look at you like, “COVID? Is that a satellite dish detecting gray space folks?”

When a patient suffers from psychosis and COVID-19, oftentimes, the psychosis trumps the physical disorder. That’s because psychosis takes over the mind and when the mind is distracted, physical symptoms become slowly buried. Unless severe pain is involved, shortness of breath and fever are no match in the ring versus auditory hallucinations and delusional fantasies.

So what becomes of this situation is the question. The patient will end up being treated for the coronavirus and hopefully recover, while quarantined that is. But as far as their insight goes, they will not care that much about their physical symptoms. They may complain that their cough is getting worse or even their shortness of breath, but as compared to a person with no psychosis, their complaints will be minor.

It’s always important to keep in mind that a psychotic patient cannot always relate to reality as well as other people can. It depends on the severity of their psychosis, but psychosis is psychosis at the end of the day . . . something is still off in their thought process and content. That’s why we have to be extra cautious with patients suffering from a mental illness and who are COVID positive . . . they may never report their symptoms in the first place.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Suicide Attempts In Immigrants

Sad immigrant man with head down wearing red hat, gray pants and white sneakers

Foreign, Gay And Suicidal

Many immigrants who come to the United States with the hope of starting a better life become prone to developing depression for many reasons. Each individual carries different risk factors, such as gender, sexual orientation, financial status, social status and past psychiatric history. Suicide attempts in immigrants are not unusual; a different country provides different stressors.

When immigrants come to the United States with big expectations and fail to achieve their dreams and goals, depression starts to kick in. Not only have they left their family back in their home country, but they are now facing excessive worry about achieving a career while paying the bills, especially if their goal is unrealistic.

An example is a young gay male in his 20s who immigrates from Chile to Manhattan to become a famous actor. He attends acting school in Manhattan, makes friends who are also interested in acting and crosses his fingers with the hope of landing a paid acting gig. A few weeks pass by after graduation . . . a few months . . . he is still not paid and is working for Uber to get by.

On the other hand, he feels relieved that NYC is open to homosexuality and finds great pleasure in being open about his sexuality and going on dates; he even finds himself in a relationship with another young man. But a few months later, his partner from the West Village breaks up with him, leaving him to feel devastated and empty.

Not only is he an immigrant, but his gay partner has left him and he still has not succeeded in obtaining a paid gig in acting. So he starts consuming more alcohol in order to cope with the depression; he never used to drink much alcohol. After he realizes that the alcohol does not work, he takes an overdose of the antidepressant that he was prescribed by his psychiatrist and brings himself into the emergency room.

This time he was lucky and got out alive. This is an example of how depression and suicidal ideations can creep up on an immigrant who innocently came to the United States for a better life. Depression has no borders; you may be rich or poor, living in Mexico City or a penthouse in Manhattan and still have thoughts of wanting to kill yourself.

This is how serious mental illness is.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Psychotic Juice Flowing Through Your Brain

Psychotic man wearing red hoodie with mask squatting on pavement

Domestic Violence Sparked By Psychosis

Imagine waking up every day in the comforts of your home in a borderline psychotic state of mind, wondering if this will be another day that you will get in a fight with your alcoholic father who got deported 5 years ago, but is back in control of the family dynamics. Imagine your home environment revolving around domestic violence almost every day of your life and you don’t know who is to blame; is it the psychotic juice flowing through your brain or your father’s alcoholism?

There are people who do not appear psychotic but do suffer from psychosis based on their behavior and thought process. Some of these people will tell you that they don’t hear voices in their head and do not experience visual hallucinations, but they admit to thought insertion, “When my step-sister is in her room, sometimes I think she’s putting thoughts in my head.”

On top of that, imagine being involved with drugs such as marijuana, alcohol and Love Boat. When marijuana makes the psychosis worse, many of these people will switch to other drugs such as cocaine, heroin or even PCP. While PCP is associated with belligerent and violent behavior, some users will report that it calms them down, denying that it makes them violent.

So what diagnosis do these people carry? They don’t appear schizophrenic, they’re not always on drugs and they’re definitely not manic. It becomes a challenge to appropriately diagnose these patients: some differentials include psychosis not otherwise specified or substance-induced psychosis.

Regardless of their official diagnosis, many of these folks will refuse to take psychiatric medications, stating, “My family is the one who needs to take medications.” They externalize and never take blame; they don’t believe that they have a mental illness, but yet they admit to thought insertion. Usually a personality disorder is also at play, such as antisocial personality disorder or narcissistic personality disorder.

You think coronavirus is bad? Pray that you don’t have psychotic juice flowing through your circle of willis.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

First Day Of Spring

Field of green and yellow flowers next to trees with pink leaves during springtime

You Are Alive

With all the worrying and anxiety circulating in society, we can finally release our breath and welcome the first day of spring. Spared a tough winter due to climate change, we were instead hit with a deadly virus that is still cruising freely with no end in sight. But against this invisible enemy comes along the season of spring, a time where we can once again see life taking shape and form through nature.

Some of you may have lost your business, family or friends . . . some of you are depressed and do not see any hope for the future. While pain hurts and its length varies in time, you have a choice today to help change your mindset and view the world for the beautiful opportunities it does offer.

One of these opportunities is to enjoy the season of spring. During these months, trees begin to blossom again, flowers begin to flirt and animals begin to mate. Even dating is more fun during spring and going out with friends while daylight increases brings upon an exciting warm feeling of love.

The best part of spring is that you are still alive; you haven’t allowed the coronavirus to rob you of your soul. Is that not enough to be happy? Every single day, people show up to the emergency room with suicidal thoughts, homicidal intentions, auditory hallucinations or visions of things that do not exist; their mental health swings back and forth like a pendulum.

But that’s not you! Instead, you are going to open your arms wide open and accept the beauty of spring; allow it to hug you while the sun shines on your innocent face. Put aside the negativity of the coronavirus and keep a positive mind above your shoulders. Do not ever forget the point of life: to be happy while making the most out of it.

Spring brings upon good spirits! Are you ready to partake?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Exercising During A State Of Quarantine

Silhouette of man jogging on the street during sunset near body of water

Finding Pleasure Outside Your Home

During this state of quarantine, many people are wondering what to do with their free time. Now that society is under a lockdown and gyms have closed, many are scratching their heads thinking to themselves, “Crap . . . I always hated exercising in my home.” But who said anything about turning your studio into a gym? Exercising during a state of quarantine should not be a difficult task.

Just take a look outside your window . . . do you see a street? There you go. That’s where you should go exercise. If there’s a park near your home then that’s even better! Now that it’s spring and the temperature is rising, it’s quite lovely to put on your Apple AirPods and go jogging outside. Forget the treadmill; it doesn’t beat nature.

Just because you’re quarantined does not mean that you have to become paranoid. Leaving your home to exercise is actually really good for your mental health: it helps you to step out of your quarantined state of mind and be free again. Being locked up in your home really emphasizes the feeling that you’re in trouble or have done something wrong; neither is the case.

Exercising in nature really helps to clear your mind and escape the confinement of your house. Allow the fresh air and cool breeze surrounding the trees to guide your way through the park; just float down the paths as the clouds float above your vicinity. Feel the air rushing into your lungs as you increase your pace to the beat bumping in your eardrums.

Don’t become a sloth during these times. That’s exactly what the coronavirus wants you to become: it plays with your sanity by gaslighting you. It wants you trapped in your home so that your mental health can be more easily manipulated by the media, internet and your natural curiosity. With too much time on your hands, you risk falling prey to manipulation.

Exercising helps you dodge the coronavirus’s mental attacks.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Coronavirus Madness

Worried man in black suit banging his head against stone wall

Corona In The Air

Many people are showing up to the emergency room despite a nationwide recommendation to self-quarantine; not for coronavirus symptoms per say, but from anxiety due to the coronavirus. For many in society, this whole scare of quarantining, evacuating college dormitories and working from home is affecting their mental health. It’s not every day that we go through this; in fact, it’s not every decade that we go through this. Coronavirus madness is here.

Patients are showing up to the emergency room with rhinorrhea, cough and chills and are worried that they’ve caught the coronavirus. They forget that during these months, they can still catch other illnesses such as the cold or the flu. But combine physical symptoms with the scare portrayed by CNN and Fox News, and you have people who just can’t handle the situation.

Believe it or not, this situation is very stressful for many, especially when they have symptoms of the cold. The fear of actually having the coronavirus puts them on the verge of experiencing suicidal ideations; they believe that their “body is shutting down,” so they rather be dead by taking matters in their own hands, rather than dying as portrayed on television.

Many mental health patients were previously stabilized before the whole coronavirus pandemic: they were taking their medications and experiencing minimal psychiatric symptoms. But when the pandemic hit, their past symptoms came back to life: they’ve become negativistic, withdrawn and taking about 30-60 seconds to respond to a question; they’ve even become catatonic!

Do not underestimate the power that a viral pandemic can have on the mental health of society. Many mentally crack when they hear all the negative news on television; the fear overwhelms them and worsens their mental health. Some are perfectly healthy and have no signs of being sick, but their mental health drops greatly from their baseline just from hearing about the coronavirus pandemic.

Corona is in the air and it can infect your mental health! Make sure that you are surrounded by positive people and always share your feelings and worries with others.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

28 Coronavirus Pickup Lines You Can Use On Tinder โ€” Thought Catalog

Coronavirus is taking over the world but people are still on dating apps. If weโ€™re all this thing together, it means we can keep talking and bringing joy to others as we self-quarantine. Please use these pickup lines to wow the woman or man of your choosing and continue to have a whirlwind penย palโ€ฆ

28 Coronavirus Pickup Lines You Can Use On Tinder โ€” Thought Catalog

Superficial Cuts

Person raising bloody hand with blood dripping on forearm

Borderline Personality Disorder

Self-injurious behavior is exactly what it sounds like: a person self-inflicts physical pain in order to manage their emotional pain or mental illness at play. Patients with borderline personality disorder are classic examples of people who perform self-injurious behavior, especially cutting of the body. Superficial cuts often begin early in life, such as in childhood or adolescence, and tend to increase in frequency as the disorder worsens.

When you ask a patient with borderline personality disorder why they perform these behaviors, they will tell you either one of two things: “to get rid of my pain” or “because I was trying to kill myself.” This kind of behavior is more common in females, but not unheard of in males. Females tend to suffer from depression more than males do because of estrogen, so self-inflicting behavior naturally is more common in females.

So why do borderline patients hurt themselves? Because their emotional wellbeing and state of mind are unpredictable; they lie on the “border” of psychosis and neurosis. Rather than being stable like people who don’t have the disorder, when something goes wrong, such as a relationship with a friend, family member or significant other, they lose their cool and start acting out.

And one of the ways in which they act out is by cutting themselves. Many times, they do this as a form of attention. Not only do they feel better about themselves when they cut their skin, but they know that the other person might come running back to them. And if they don’t come back, well . . . the pain was relieved by the blade.

Oftentimes, this kind of behavior gets them in the hospital. When they arrive in the emergency room, they either maintain their stance of being suicidal in order to be admitted and receive more attention, or they realize that their behavior was wrong and deny being suicidal, requesting to be discharged in the process.

Whenever you meet someone who presents with superficial cuts on their forearms or neck, keep in mind the diagnosis of borderline personality disorder; especially if they are female.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Psychological War

Drawings of Chinese man with face mask on wall

Coronavirus Eating My Brain Away

Times have really changed during the last couple of months. Countries all over the world are battling a viral pandemic that is not only affecting the human body, but the mind as well. The virus is causing great damage to not only the elderly but young folks with no comorbidities. More hospitals in the U.S. and Italy are seeing younger people being admitted and even intubated! This virus is causing panic and skyrocketing anxiety levels; it has become a psychological war.

Store shelves all across the world are emptying at an alarming rate. Walmart and other big chains are decreasing their employee work hours. Countries in Europe such as France, Italy and Spain are under nationwide lockdowns. Public events such as sporting games, concerts and shows have all been canceled.

This virus is now even causing anxiety from one’s home. You don’t even have to leave your living room to feel anxious; your perception on reality is slowly changing. You’re starting to view society as a dangerous place to be. But then again, you don’t want to remain locked inside your home because you want to continue living a normal life.

So you’re gridlocked; you either isolate yourself in your home or you take a chance and go about in society. Either way, your anxiety has never been this high. Psychiatric patients are also suffering more, especially those with a preexisting anxiety disorder or OCD. Those with anxiety are even more worried about their everyday lives and those with OCD are washing their hands until they turn red.

The coronavirus is slowly entering our minds and controlling us. It wants us paralyzed with fear. It whispers to us, “If I can’t get you sick physically, at least I’ll torture you mentally.” Many of us can control our anxiety and go about living our normal lives, but many people are vulnerable to freezing and allowing their preexisting mental illness to get the better half of them.

The most important thing to remember during these types of psychological wars is to remain positive and go about living your normal life without fear. Once you allow fear to plant a seed in your mind, you become a victim before anything even hatches. Take care of your physical health by washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, eating healthy and exercising and maintaining a positive outlook on life.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Surviving Psychosis

Psychotic man smiling and wearing gray polo shirt with tattoo on left arm

Living With Voices In Your Head

Some people are born into poverty, some are born with a mental disability, some become depressed and some develop psychosis. Some acquire the coronavirus and others remain healthy. Everyone goes through something; the world is always throwing something at you. But can you imagine living every single day with voices in your head telling you that the ambulance heading down the street is going to hit you? Surviving psychosis is a great challenge for many all over the world.

Many psychiatric patients who have been battling psychosis their entire lives, will tell you that their lives have been all about managing their symptoms and staying preoccupied as much as they can. Psychotic patients who were born into poverty have it even worse: they don’t achieve an education past a GED (if that), rely on an SSI/SSD check and unfortunately, may become involved with drugs.

But can you imagine a life where you don’t have an education, money and are suffering from auditory hallucinations on a consistent basis? Wouldn’t you be tempted to turn to drugs to get out of that reality? Some psychotic patients will tell you that marijuana, heroin and crack calms their internal voices. This is not an excuse to use, but we need to be empathetic of their struggles.

It’s scary enough to deal with sociopaths in society who kill for fun, but imagine having many sociopaths in your mind in the form of auditory hallucinations whispering 24/7, “I fucking hate you! I want you dead”; “Go push that person in front of the subway. She deserves it”; “You’re such a piece of shit! You should throw yourself off the bridge!

Even when psychotic patients take antipsychotics such as Zyprexa or Clozapine, the medications do not always work effectively. Another factor is that psychotic patients are not always compliant with their medications; they may become distracted from their symptoms, get involved with drugs or experience difficult life circumstances. In addition, with less education, patients are more prone to not comply with a psychiatrist’s recommendations.

Don’t be so quick to judge the next time that you see a psychotic patient in public. Think about how difficult it has been for them to survive psychosis. When you have psychosis, it’s like you’re trying to survive two lives: your regular one from birth and your second one which comprises of auditory hallucinations. Some people can’t even deal with their regular lives; imagine dealing with an intense mental illness on top of that!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)