Mental health writer Jessica shares another extract from her memoir in progress named “Stark Raving” about her experiences with psychosis.
“I’ve been through psychosis,” I say.
And then, because most people I speak to aren’t sure what it is, I begin the spiel…
“Psychosis is when you lose your grip on reality,” I say earnestly.
“This usually involves delusions, which is where you think something that isn’t true, for example, believing everyone is in a conspiracy against you, or hallucinations, which is where you have unusual sensory experiences, for example, hearing voices.”
I pause, looking to their face and finding the expression unreadable.
‘These are called positive symptoms, although they don’t seem very positive if you ask me. It’s because they add something.”
“But there are negative symptoms too, which take something away, such as concentration or memory.”
I pause for breath.
“And many people will lack insight, so they don’t believe they’re even ill.”
“Does that make sense?”
They nod cautiously.
“I mainly suffer from delusions of reference, which is where you think the TV and the radio are sending you messages, and delusions of persecution, where you believe people are out to get you.”
They shift uncomfortably in their seat.
“Any questions?” I ask.
And I notice that they’ve moved away from me, ever so slightly.
You can read more from Jessica’s memoir here:
Part 1: The Retreat
Part 2: Can I have a hug?