What Psychotic Episodes Really Look and Feel Like

When we hear someone is psychotic, we automatically think of psychopaths and cold-blooded criminals. We automatically think “Oh wow, they’re really crazy!” And we automatically think of plenty of other myths and misconceptions that only further the stigma surrounding psychosis. In other words, the reality is that we get psychosis very wrong. For starters, psychosis consists of hallucinations and/or delusions. “You can have one or both at the same time,” said Devon MacDermott, Ph.D, a psychologist who previously worked in psychiatric hospitals and outpatient centers, treating individuals experiencing psychosis in various forms. “Hallucinations are sensory perceptions in the absence of external triggers,” MacDermott said. That is, “the trigger comes from inside [the person’s] own mind,” and involves one of their five senses. The most common is hearing voices, she said. People also can “see or feel things that aren’t there.” “Delusions are persistent beliefs without sufficient evidence to back up those beliefs—and often with substantial evidence to refute the belief,” said MacDermott, who’s now in private practice where she specializes in trauma and OCD. Psychologist Jessica Arenella, Ph.D, describes psychosis as a disruption in meaning-making: “The person may be finding meaning in otherwise random or inconsequential things (e.g., license plat...
Source: Psych Central - Category: Psychiatry Authors: Tags: Disorders General Schizophrenia Stigma Hallucinations Hearing Voices Psychosis Psychotic Episode serious mental illness Source Type: news

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