There continues to be widespread misunderstanding about psychosis—why it occurs, what it looks like, and how it is managed. This article will discuss the truth and debunk five common myths about psychosis. Increasing our understanding of psychosis can lead to reduced stigma and increased compassion for those who experience it.
What is Psychosis?
Psychosis is a mental state in which an individual experiences disconnection from reality. This might include hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that aren’t there) or delusions (false beliefs held even when counterevidence is presented). An individual in a psychotic state may exhibit disorganized thought patterns and speech, paranoia, and bizarre behavior. Many people experiencing psychosis become fearful or confused about what they are experiencing, which may lead them to isolate themselves from others.
There are many potential causes of psychosis. It can stem from a mental health condition or as the result of substance use. While it is common for a psychotic episode to occur for the first time in adolescents or young adults, it can happen to anyone at any point in life. Increasing awareness of what psychosis is (and what it isn’t) can help reduce stigma and increase compassion for those who experience it.
For more articles and detailed information about psychosis, visit https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/psychosis/.
Debunking 5 Common Myths about Psychosis
- People who are experiencing a psychotic episode are dangerous or violent. Movies and TV shows frequently perpetuate the myth that people who experience psychosis pose a threat to society. While it is often believed that people experiencing psychosis are at a higher risk of aggression or violence, it is simply not true. During a psychotic episode, a person may act strangely due to being detached from reality, but that does not mean their personality shifts or they suddenly become a threat to others. It is actually more likely that people experiencing psychosis will harm themselves due to being out of touch with their surroundings.
- A person who experiences psychosis is a “psychopath.” There is a distinct difference between psychosis (a temporary disconnect from reality) and psychopathy. A “psychopath” is a term for someone who lives with Antisocial personality disorder, a mental health condition characterized by a disregard for the rights of others, manipulating others for personal gain, impulsivity, and lack of remorse. These are two entirely different experiences that involve distinct symptoms and paths of treatment.
- People who experience psychosis are “crazy.” Experiencing psychosis does not make a person ‘crazy.’ There are many factors that can contribute to the onset of a psychotic episode, from medication to substance use to a mental health condition. Using the word ‘crazy’ to describe those who live with psychosis perpetuates stigma around an experience that can happen to anyone in any walk of life.
- Psychosis occurs as a result of a character flaw. Like any mental health problem, it is not the fault of the person experiencing it. Experiencing psychosis is not a result of a moral failing or a character flaw. It is not something that someone can simply ‘snap out of’ or fix. Understanding this can help remove the shame surrounding psychosis and dispel beliefs that those who experience it must have done something wrong to cause it.
- Experiencing psychosis prevents a person from being able to live a productive life. The idea that someone who experiences psychosis cannot live a full, meaningful life is entirely false. Some people experience a psychotic episode at some point and never have symptoms again. Others seek treatment that helps to reduce the frequency and intensity of psychotic symptoms. There is treatment available such as psychotherapy and medication that can help individuals manage psychosis and lead meaningful lives.
Seeking Further Support for Psychosis
If you believe you may be experiencing symptoms of psychosis, it’s crucial to discuss your concerns with your doctor or a mental health professional. They can help you pinpoint what may be causing your symptoms and determine appropriate options for treatment. Know that you are not alone, and there is always hope for moving toward a place of improved mental health and well-being.
If you or someone you know experiences mental health issues, it is important to seek help from a qualified professional. Our Resource Specialist can help you find expert mental health resources to recover in your community. Contact us now for more information on this free service to our users.
About the Author:
This blog post was developed in collaboration with BetterHelp.
BetterHelp is an online portal that provides direct-to-consumer access to mental health services. The online counseling and therapy services are provided through web-based interaction as well as phone and text communication.
The opinions and views expressed in any guest blog post do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in the article or linked to therein. Guest Authors may have affiliations to products mentioned or linked to in their author bios.
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