This is kind of continuation of my previous post, when I described some experiences from my first psychotic episode and I noticed that, although we do seem to talk more openly about mental health that people used to several years ago, what it in fact means is, we talk about depression and anxiety and not those more serious issues like for example psychosis.
So I’m wondering why that is? First of all it’s probably because it’s relatively rare experience so most people don’t even know anyone who experienced one, therefore it’s difficult to even start the conversation when you know the other person will have no idea what that actually is.
‘You haven’t been coming to the group lately. Is everything ok?’ one may ask and the response would be: ‘Oh, you see, I had psychotic episode but I’m mostly fine now. I should be back shortly.’
Psychotic episode, what that even is, the other person may wonder but will probably be too ashamed to ask. So what do we do, do we continue our explanation even if there’s no questions?
‘Psychotic episode, you know, that state when one hallucinates and looses touch with reality. I’m just recovering from one’.
I wonder what people would say for that. Mind you, when I had my second episode, I was perfectly aware I’m in psychosis and I worried at times I’d never recover, at the same time I deeply believed in my hallucinations. Isn’t that strange?
Recovering from an episode was difficult on both occasions. What I found especially tough was that people outside of my psychiatric team expected me to be completely well only because my hallucinations stopped, while recovery takes more than that. My main problem was my inability to think clearly. It would take me the entire day to read one article in a newspaper, that’s how difficult it was for me to concentrate.
Even now I still have the idea that my memory is not as good as it used to be, although this could be due to variety of factors.
One reason I find it difficult to talk about psychosis to anyone is that it’s such an unusual subject, not something that people would expect to hear on an ordinary day, so I just don’t start. But it doesn’t mean I don’t want them to know, so at least now they can read my posts and find out.
So what I really want you to remember is that ‘mental health problems’ are not just depression and anxiety, they can also be more unusual than that.