What is Psychosis?
One thing to keep in mind with psychotic patients is their very unpredictable behavior. The unpredictability of psychosis is very obvious; they can literally be having a pleasant conversation with you in one moment, and then yelling, cursing, and agitated in the next. You scratch your head and wonder, “What in the world? I was just talking to them and everything seemed to be going well!” Psychosis could care less if everything was going well. When it wants its patient to terrorize, it will unleash all hell’s dogs to get its fix. This doesn’t mean that you should always expect psychotic patients to become dysregulated and violent. Just be aware that the chances of that happening are higher than with other patients. What’s a psychosis meaning? Let’s expand below.
Psychosis Meaning – Unpredictable Patients
You should never assume that you’re on the good side of a psychotic patient. This is because their psychosis does not care if you’re nice, treat them well or say good morning every day. Their psychosis is unpredictable even when you think they’re doing well. They can snap at any moment and randomly assault you when you least expect it. The unpredictability of psychosis is not always due to their treatment. Many patients are on multiple antipsychotics and mood stabilizers and still become aggressive without anyone expecting it. A combination of factors is responsible for their aggressive behavior: receiving bad news, fluctuating hormones and neurotransmitters, not taking their medications or a psychotic break. You don’t want a taste of psychotic aggression.
Even with stable outpatients, you never know how they’re really doing. They can present to your office in one way, and a totally different way when out and about. Keep in mind that patients with psychosis often abuse tobacco and drugs, in particular cheap drugs such as K2 and synthetic smart drugs. My point is that you should never underestimate their mental status. Sometimes you don’t suspect them of using any drugs and that is when they can snap and become violent. Always keep your guard around a person with a history of psychosis. This applies to families, friends and healthcare workers who spend time with psychotic persons.
There is Hope
Now this doesn’t mean that psychosis can’t be treated. Many people suffered from psychosis at one point in their lives and successfully recovered. Some people experience drug-induced psychosis caused by the abusing of drugs. They may be psychotic for a few days to a week after stopping the drug and become normal again after the drug clears out of their system. Others suffer from psychotic depression, bipolar depression, brief psychotic disorder, schizophrenia, etc. All of them have the potential to become violent! But they also have the potential to become normal and lead successful lives again. The beauty of psychiatry is that medications work and we have a lot of great mental health professionals who demonstrate a lot of empathy and patience.
Have you experienced psychosis or do you know anyone who has?
Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)