Psychosis Meaning

Abandoned psychiatric asylum

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.

Psychosis meaning - disheveled girl holding knife

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)

Unpredictability of psychosis GIF face

Mania: A Forest Fire Out Of Control

Manic and angry man yelling on cellphone

Quenching The Residual Flames

When a person becomes manic, their world flips 360 degrees. Many patients with mania love the experience because they feel energized, on top of the world and feel like they can accomplish anything; imagine being on an ultimate adrenaline rush while feeling high. This high doesn’t go away without medications and can last even weeks to months at a time. But as with any high there comes many potential negative consequences; mania is nothing more than a forest fire out of control.

The reason why manic patients can’t remain in their mania is that because they start to get out of control. They may unexpectedly leave the house in the middle of the night and put themselves in danger by interacting with strangers. They may try new activities based on grandiose ideas, thinking that they will be able to accomplish something great, resulting in potential embarrassment, humiliation and trouble with the law.

When someone is manic, they are no longer themselves. They may become irritable, vulgar and physically aggressive, swinging for no good reason. They may see you as a threat when you’re just trying to help calm them down. You cannot allow a forest fire to burn indefinitely; it will destroy everything in its path. The same applies with a bipolar patient who is in a state of mania.

There are reports of manic patients spending 2 months in an inpatient psychiatric unit, only to return 5 days after their discharge because they became noncompliant with their medications, resulting in another full-blown manic episode. Can you imagine spending 60 days in the hospital only to return back 5 days later? That’s when you know that your mental illness is out of control.

Mania is like the UFC of fighting; the ultimate potential aggression is at play. The difference is that this aggression is not enjoyable to watch because it’s sad to see a person suffering from a mental illness. Manic patients tend to lose their jobs because they become very disruptive and disorganized and they also have the potential to become psychotic, such as hearing voices in their head. Their hospitalizations are often lengthy because it takes time to get them back at their mental baseline; a premature discharge will likely lead to the reemergence of manic symptoms.

The residual flames of mania must be quenched for good before a patient can return back home.

Do you know anyone who is diagnosed with bipolar I disorder?

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)

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