Symptoms of Psychosis We Don’t Talk About- A Personal Story!

You may not know what people are going through or their struggles. They may be surrounded by people yet may feel alone. They may not even realize they have options.

What are the symptoms of psychosis we don’t talk about-

This post is a personal narrative of my friend who was not showing any symptoms of psychosis despite suffering from the same. She was undergoing a prolonged period of stress. As a result, she quickly slipped into a zone where she did not even belong in an attempt to find solace in things that did not even exist. But she didn’t get any respite.

She was suffering alone in pain and silence.

And then she admitted she was not feeling fine at all and that something was not quite right with her.

So what was it that was making her go insane?

One fine day, she confessed that she was losing touch with reality and was hearing and seeing things that didn’t even exist.

“I can feel, hear, smell and taste things that others around can’t. Am I losing my sanity? I am afraid if I share this with others, they will call me lunatic!” were her exact words.

Was she hallucinating? Yes, she was indeed hallucinating and showcasing several symptoms of delusions.

“The voices are emerging inside my head are causing me to lose control. Those repeated words and dialogues are making me go mad.”

She knew that she was losing herself and that she needed help.

Like her, many people in our close vicinity may suffer from depression or psychosis, but they go undetected. And to make it worse, we do not take them seriously.

You may not know what people are going through or their struggles. They may be surrounded by people yet may feel alone. They may not even realize they have options.

Sometimes when you feel cloudy, perplexed, or even suffer from some mental condition, you may not see clearly. And you need others to show you the way!

Mental disorder is a complex subject, but it needs to be discussed, understood, and taken more seriously.

So what is psychosis, and what are the symptoms of psychosis?

Let’s understand that first before we continue the story of my friend.

What is psychosis?

Psychosis is a state that alters a person’s thoughts, feelings, and perceptions in abnormal ways. Psychosis is a condition that can cause you to renounce touch with actuality. You might believe in things that are not even real. You might see and hear things that do not exist. You may move your body strangely and become intensely obsessed with specific thoughts.

As a result, the person loses contact with reality. When someone exhibits these symptoms, it is called a psychotic episode- a period when the person’s perception and thoughts are disturbed. The person may find it difficult to distinguish between what is real and what is not.

People diagnosed with psychosis describe it as a scary experience as they often question their thoughts and struggle to distinguish between what is real and what is not.

Psychosis is a symptom and not an illness in itself. It is the main symptom of psychotic disorders such as bipolar disorder, depressive disorder, or even schizophrenia.

Who can develop psychosis?

Anyone can develop psychosis, affecting people from all walks of life, but young people are more likely to get it. Psychosis often begins when the person is in his late teens or mid-twenties.

The exact cause of psychosis is not known!

What are the symptoms of psychosis?

What are the symptoms of psychosis?

Psychosis does not happen suddenly. It grips the person gradually over a period of time. Typically a person starts to show changes in their behavior before it develops that their family members can note. A lot of people ask: can you be aware of your own psychosis? So, here are a few warning signs to look out for when suspecting psychosis:

1. A sudden drop in the performance of an individual. Such as grade loss at school or college and lack of motivation at work.

2. Trouble thinking clearly.

3. Trouble concentrating on work.

4. Suspicious behavior.

5. Lack of trust in others and paranoia.

6. Social isolation and withdrawal.

7. They are spending an unusual amount of time alone.

8. A person may often complain of strange feelings or no feelings at all.

9. You can see a sudden decline in their personal hygiene and self-care.

10. They find it difficult to distinguish between what is real and what is not.

11. Confusion and trouble in communication.

These warning signs may indicate that person is on the way to developing psychosis.

Signs of early stages of psychosis

People who are suffering from the early stages of psychosis may demonstrate, complain or talk about the following things:

  • Taste, see, smell and hear things that others do not.
  • Have strong beliefs and thoughts regardless of what others have to say.
  • Have poor hygiene and don’t take care of themselves.
  • Have attention deficit and are unable to think clearly.
  • Maintain distance from friends and family.

You may:

  • Hear, see, or taste things others don’t
  • Hang on to unusual beliefs or thoughts, no matter what others say
  • Pull away from family and friends
  • Stop taking care of yourself
  • Not being able to think clearly or pay attention

These are the symptoms of psychosis that may indicate the early stage of psychosis.

Symptoms of a psychotic episode

Apart from the symptoms of psychosis and the early stages of psychosis, as mentioned above, the person during the psychotic episode may have false beliefs about some things. It is called delusions. For example, a person may believe that they have special powers, are on a special mission, or that some outside forces control their actions.

Another symptom of psychosis is that the person may often hallucinate about things others don’t see, smell, taste, or hear.

Other symptoms of psychosis may include inappropriate behavior, incoherent speech, or sentences that do not make sense. People undergoing the psychotic episode may experience the following additionally:

  • depression
  • sleeplessness
  • social withdrawal
  • lack of motivation
  • anxiety etc.

What can trigger psychosis?

Psychosis is a symptom and not an illness in itself. It can be triggered by mental illness, injury, substance abuse, grief, excessive stress, and trauma.

Psychosis can also indicate mental illness like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

So, these are the symptoms of psychosis that everyone should know and be aware of.

Can you be aware of your own psychosis?

Yes, you can be aware of your own psychosis by keeping a tap on a few warning signs. These warning signs can include depression, anxiety, uncontrollable thoughts, sudden drop in performance, cloudy thinking, trouble concentrating, lack of trust in others, social isolation and withdrawal, strange feelings, a decline in personal hygiene, etc. Another warning sign of psychosis that can make you aware of your own psychosis is that you may hear voices, see people, smell, and taste things others may not feel or see. As a result, you may find it difficult to distinguish between what is real and what is not.

So, can you be aware of your own psychosis? Yes, you can be!

What to do if you think you have psychosis?

Suppose you believe you are witnessing any symptoms of psychosis. In that case, the first thing is to calm down and be determined to eliminate such a condition by seeking medication, managing stress, and keeping a journal of your thoughts.

1. Manage stress

When you feel uncomfortable or scared or start losing control, think of things that make you feel better. Practice breathing techniques, take a relaxing bath, listen to your favorite song or simply call a friend and ease it out.

2. Keep a journal

Another thing you can do is to journal your thoughts by writing down things that you see, hear or feel. It will help you revisit your writing later, reflect upon them, and think more objectively about what you have experienced.

3. Seek professional help

And most importantly, seek professional help if you think your condition is way beyond cognition and is worsening.

Okay, so I am coming back to the story of my friend.

She was exhibiting typical symptoms of psychosis but, what was causing her psychotic episode? On close examination and talks, I saw that she was extremely stressed about a few things. First, she complained about hearing the voices of people she knew, which changed to the voices of people she didn’t know. Then it quickly transformed into people pointing fingers at her, talking to her aggressively, and even screaming.

All of this in her mind!

She revealed that these episodes happened when she was alone and unable to cope with stress and the faults ascribed to her. She said people often blamed her for things and made her feel guilty. And it was causing her a lot of stress and anxiety.

She then said that these were the moments that she couldn’t tackle at first. But then she altered her reality and started to feel lucky about those voices as divine intervention from people who wanted her to do good in her life. And then there were moments she wanted those voices to stop as she couldn’t bear with them anymore. She also felt these strange voices were actually from people who always made fun of her and instigated her.

To conclude, she felt alternating thoughts about the people and their voices in her mind.

So she embarked on a journey to find the root cause of her condition and discovered that her prolonged stress made her hallucinate and believe in things that didn’t exist.

And it is when she decided to keep silent, completely ignore what she was going through, and move forward, thinking it all would be okay with time.

But this way of dealing with her emotions and denial made her aggressive and combative in her dealings. And to make it all worse, the noises in her head started to haunt her more frequently than ever. But she kept ignoring her delusions and hallucinations, thinking they would stop someday.

She started entertaining her hallucinations by way of ignoring them! She was not venting her feelings, and there was no outlet for her stress and anxiety, making her condition worse. Soon she realized that her chronic stress and anxiety had metamorphosed into a new thing called trauma. It was this trauma that made her more silent.

The hearing of voices then moved towards seeing shadows following her. She not only heard voices and felt a shadow following her but also a strange smell.

It was by now clear to her that something was terribly wrong and her situation was getting awful with time, and there was no respite.

“Am I going crazy?” She asked me!

She was afraid of her mental deterioration, where she heard strange voices, saw shadows and smelled something weird. But she was not okay about talking about it to anyone else as she was aware of the stigma associated with being lunatic, crazy, or mentally sick.

But then, finally, she decided to seek help.

And as a first step, she reached out to her peer group and friends, including me. She was committed to improving her fast deteriorating health condition and was determined to come out of it. She wanted to differentiate between reality and delusions or hallucinations. She wanted to let go of the symptoms causing her to hate herself. So she acknowledged that she was not well and got herself diagnosed.

The treatment of mental disorders begins with you first. You have to accept your condition and acknowledge that you are suffering. It would be best to talk to people when you are suffering from something for an extended time and things you cannot handle yourself.

When you share something that bothers you, it can actually bring out the best in you. When you talk over and again to one person about your emotions and feelings or condition, you reinforce a pain point that finds an outlet via discussion. It is not cribbing, whining, or complaining.

On the other hand, not discussing your symptoms can never make you feel better or good about yourself. Keeping mute can make you feel terrible about yourself as you process and fight your condition alone.

Therefore, it is always advised to talk about your symptoms, emotions, and feelings to people around you out and loud! It is better to visit your reality with others than to wander alone. It is where you will start to make the most of yourself and establish a healthy relationship with yourself.

My friend did the same thing!

She went into finding what worked for her better by sharing with people without any fear of stigma. Once she was clear about what works and what doesn’t, she knew how to get out through treatment, therapy, and tolerance.

I am very grateful to people who took me seriously, stood with me through thick and thin, and cared enough to be available to me. Because if they hadn’t, I wouldn’t be here now!

Yes, conversation and empathy can be game changers as they create an opportunity for compassion and community. Open communication, empathy, and sympathy can ease and treat several mental ailments.

So I encourage you to ask those tough questions to your near and dear ones more often:

How are you? Are you doing fine?

Tell them it is okay to not be okay! And then you should be willing to listen with all compassion. You have all the power to change lives and even save one!

Let’s be available to them! Together we can make this world a better place by making open and honest communication sans judgments!

How to support someone experiencing psychosis?

1. Be available to them

If you have a friend who you think is experiencing psychosis, the first step is to speak to them, assure them that you are there for them, no matter what, and tell them you won’t judge them. Show empathy and compassion and encourage them to open up. Tell them you can relate to what they are going through. But make sure you give them ample space and time, making sure they know that you are available to speak whenever they are ready. And when they open up and share their feelings, do not laugh or be scared. Instead, show courage and hope to them.

2. Don’t argue with them

You know they are hallucinating, and their thoughts are not honest. But if you enter into any argument proving this, it won’t serve any good purpose. All that is required from you is to listen patiently, empathize and connect with them emotionally. Once you connect with them, you can calm them down. For example, you can say, “That sounds really awful, and I’m sorry you have to go through all this. But don’t worry, you will come out of it. Please let me know if I can help you in any way?”

3. Keep your tone down with them

When you are communicating with them, it always helps to keep your tone down, non-threatening, and argumentative. Please don’t raise your voice, act nervous or try to control them in any way, as it can be counterproductive. It can make their condition worse. Instead, ask them when and where they feel safe and secure and how you help them reach there.

I know it is a difficult subject, but it needs to be talked about and understood.

So these are the symptoms of psychosis that you should look around. If you think you or someone close to you have these symptoms, do not shy away from seeking help from people around. Seek professional help if you think you require it.

If you like this post about the symptoms of psychosis and think it added some value to your life, do not forget to share the same with your family and friends.

PS: You may also like to check out our YouTube Video for some life-changing and inspiring videos.



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