Frequently Asked Questions for Individuals Experiencing Psychosis

Frequently Asked Questions for Individuals Experiencing Psychosis

What is psychosis?

Psychosis is a group of symptoms and experiences that can make it difficult to distinguish between what’s real and what’s not. It may involve hallucinations, delusions, or disorganized thinking.

How do they tell if I have psychosis?

Diagnosis is performed by medical professionals who evaluate your symptoms and experiences.

How is psychosis different from schizophrenia?

Psychosis can happen with or without a mental health condition. An episode of psychosis may be an isolated event and does not mean you will develop schizophrenia or any other condition later on. Schizophrenia is a specific mental disorder which involves persistent symptoms of psychosis along with other challenges.

Is it my fault I’m experiencing psychosis?

No, psychosis is not anyone’s fault. It is a mental health condition which requires care, compassion, and support, just like any other health issue.

Does experiencing psychosis mean my life is ruined?

No, experiencing psychosis doesn’t mean your life is ruined. With appropriate treatment and support, many individuals who experience psychosis go on to lead fulfilling lives.

Does psychosis make me dangerous?

Despite what you may see on TV, in movies, and through other media, psychosis does not make an individual dangerous, and most individuals who experience psychosis are not violent. In some cases, an individual experiencing psychosis may behave in confusing or unpredictable ways, and this can result in harm to themselves and others. Treatment can reduce this risk, so it is important to seek care as soon as possible.

Does psychosis mean I’m going out of my mind?

No, psychosis does not mean you are “crazy,” “going out of your mind,” or “losing it.” These are very stigmatizing words and shouldn’t ever be used to describe someone who experiences psychosis or other mental health challenges. Psychosis is a treatable experience which many people recover from, with the right support and treatment.

Does psychosis make me a bad person?

Experiencing psychosis does not make you a bad person. It is a mental health condition which requires understanding and support, just like any other health issue.

I’m experiencing psychosis. What now?

It is important to show yourself concern and care during this difficult process. Helpful next steps may include speaking with your loved ones to seek support and locating treatment in your area. You can do this using the MOBHC Treatment Locator. Speaking to your primary healthcare provider or a behavioral healthcare provider can help you find supportive services and treatment.

How long does it take psychosis to go away?

The duration of psychosis varies for each person. Early intervention and treatment can help reduce symptoms and shorten the length of episodes. Currently, researchers are still searching for a cure. However, many people experience significant improvement and symptom management with the right treatment. Many people who recover from a psychotic episode do not relapse, and it is possible to only have one episode in a lifetime.

How do they treat psychosis?

Treatment for psychosis often involves a combination of medication, therapy, and support services tailored to each individual’s needs. The care available to you may vary based on many factors, such as location and insurance. Your healthcare provider may be able to provide you with more information.

Does psychosis mean I have to be on medication forever?

Not necessarily. The best medication plan for you is a very personal decision and is best discussed with your healthcare provider.

What if psychosis medication doesn’t work?

If the first medication you try doesn’t work, don’t lose hope. There are many treatment options available. Your healthcare provider can help you to explore other options to find the best fit for you.

How do I talk to my peers about my psychosis?

Talking to your peers about your experiences can be challenging, but it can also lead to understanding and support. It may be helpful to choose a comfortable and private setting. You may consider sharing information about psychosis and how they can best offer you support. Remember, you have the right to disclose as much or as little as you feel comfortable with.

How do I advocate for people who experience psychosis?

Advocate for accessible mental health services, address stigma when you encounter it, seek training on supporting individuals who experience psychosis, and promote understanding and empathy in your community. If you feel safe doing so, you may consider sharing your lived experience with others.

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