Trigger warning: this piece discusses themes of psychosis and suicide.
I hope by sharing my experiences with psychosis, I’m able to shine some light on this often misunderstood mental health condition. Through this blog, I hope to create awareness, educate and provide light for anyone who may be going through similar challenges.
Psychosis is a mental health condition characterised by a break from reality, leading to the presence of hallucinations, delusions and impaired thinking. It can be a terrifying and isolating experience - affecting individuals in different ways. In my case, it initially felt like a never-ending maze I was lost in, where everything blurred together and distinguishing what was real from what wasn’t became increasingly difficult.
My first encounter with psychosis happened between 2020 and 2021 but I didn’t get diagnosed until 2022. During this time, I was homeless so it was a rather stressful time for me. Gradually, I started experiencing unsettling thoughts, extreme paranoia and countless attempts to leave this world as everything around me became foreign and threatening. It was truly an overwhelming situation, as the lines between reality and my hallucinations became indistinguishable.
The Impact on Daily Life
Psychosis affected every aspect of my life - from career ambitions to how I see myself and my overall well-being. The fear of judgment and misunderstanding from others intensified the isolation that often accompanies psychosis. Simple tasks felt impossible and the pressure to ‘snap out of it’ only added to the burden I was already carrying.
Recognising that something was wrong, I finally took myself to the hospital where I was admitted into the psychiatric ward where I received the diagnosis of psychosis. Whilst the diagnosis itself was unsettling, it was also a turning point in my journey - with guidance and a treatment plan I could follow, I gradually began to take control of my life.
Building Support Systems
I cannot emphasise enough the importance of building a strong support system when dealing with psychosis - whether that’s family, friends, support groups or people you’ve met online, connecting with people who can understand your experiences can provide an anchor in times of uncertainty.
Self Care and Wellness
In the midst of psychosis, self-care often takes a back seat, however, as I slowly learned, prioritising my physical and emotional well-being was crucial for managing my condition. Engaging in activities that bring joy, practising mindfulness, maintaining good sleep hygiene, and adopting a healthy lifestyle were all steps I took on this road to recovery.
Breaking the Stigma
Psychosis is surrounded by stigma and misconceptions, contributing to the feeling of isolation experienced by those affected. By openly sharing my story, I hope to shatter some of these misconceptions and encourage discussions around mental health. It’s vital to create an environment where individuals with psychosis feel safe to seek help and express their experiences without judgment or discrimination.
As I continue with my battle against psychosis, I am grateful for the progress I have made and the support I have received. Every day brings new challenges but I am determined to embrace my experiences with psychosis as an opportunity for growth, resilience, and empathetic understanding.
Psychosis may be a battle but it is not the end of your journey. With professional help, a robust support system, and a commitment to your journey, it is possible to navigate the maze of psychosis and lead a fulfilling life.
Together, let’s break the silence, challenge the stigma and offer hope to those facing similar struggles.
Remember, you are NOT alone!
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