A New Perspective on the Nature of Psychosis

July 9, 2019
Discover a new perspective on the nature of psychosis in this article!

Psychosis is a serious mental disorder characterized by a serious loss of contact with reality. Traditionally, people considered psychosis a disease or medical condition in and of itself. However, there’s another perspective on the nature of psychosis. In fact, the transdiagnostic perspective suggests that we can consider psychosis a common symptom in a series of mental illnesses.

That’s exactly the approach that we’ll be discussing in this article. In other words, we’re going to address the concept of the term psychosis as the way to designate the fact that an individual has sensory experiences related to inexistent things or unrealistic beliefs.

During a psychotic episode, a person may experience hallucinations or delusions. They may see or hear things that aren’t really there. This can be incredibly scary, not only for the individual experiencing it but for those around them.

Symptoms of Psychosis

Before touching on the nature of psychosis, let’s debate its classic signs and symptoms. These include hallucinations, delusions, disorganization, disordered thinking, catatonia (lack of response), and difficulty focusing. Depending on the cause, psychosis can have a quick or slow manifestation.

A woman experiencing delirium.

Same goes for schizophrenia. Although the symptoms of this illness may have a slower onset and start with a milder psychosis, some people experience a rapid transition to psychosis if they stop taking their medication. The initial symptoms of psychosis may include:

  • Feelings of suspicion.
  • Generalized anxiety.
  • Distorted perceptions.
  • Depression.
  • Obsessive thinking.
  • Sleeping problems.

The person’s hallucinations can affect any of the senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch). However, approximately two-thirds of patients with schizophrenia experience mostly auditory hallucinations. They hear things they believe are real when, in reality, they don’t exist.

The Nature of Psychosis: A Whole New Perspective

Psychosis is usually associated with schizophrenia spectrum disorder. It’s important to note that even though schizophrenia has many different symptoms, one of its defining criteria is the presence of psychosis. A recent report presented by the British Psychological Society (October 2017) offered an insight into the nature of psychosis. This study definitely supposed a new perspective on the nature of this mental illness and further educated the public on it.

Many people believe that schizophrenia is a frightening disease that makes people unpredictable and potentially violent. Another common belief is that schizophrenics can only be controlled with medication. However, this report suggests that all of this is false.

This report was called Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia: Why people sometimes hear voices, believe things that others find strange or appear out of touch with reality, and what can help. It raised interesting questions about these mental illnesses and offered a whole new perspective on the nature of psychosis.

Two heads facing each other.

Let’s expand on this a bit more.

  • First of all, the researchers stated that the problems we relate to psychosis, such as hearing voices and believing things that others find strange or that seem to be out of touch with reality can be understood in the same way as other psychological problems, such as anxiety or shyness.
  • Additionally, the report adds that there’s more to it than just seeing them as a disease. In fact, not every culture or mental health professional sees them that way, which is always important to keep in mind. Moreover, it establishes that these illnesses can be a reaction to things that can happen in our lives, such as abuse, intimidation, homelessness, or racism.
  • The report also explains that people who experience these problems are rarely ever violent. However, stereotypes can lead to schizophrenics receiving bad treatment from the police and mental health professionals.
  • No one can say with certainty the reasons for an individual’s problems. The only way is to sit down with them and try to solve them the best way possible.
  • Consequently, mental health professionals shouldn’t insist that people consider themselves ill.

In conclusion, the report says that the way we treat ourselves in our society depends on our education. That being said, poverty, racism, and homelessness are issues that we shouldn’t overlook. Instead, we must address them, as well as abuse, neglect, and bullying during childhood. Concentrating resources only on dealing with existing problems is like moping the floor but ignoring the source of the leak.