Psychotic Symptoms - Part 1
Updated: Feb 25, 2021
There are some common symptoms associated with psychosis, which are generally grouped together under a few main categories. These symptoms may vary as will the severity depending on the particular individual.
This type of symptom refers to the condition where a person has unusual sensory experiences. As a result, they may hear, see, feel, smell or taste things which other people cannot. For example, they may hear noises or voices that other people report they cannot. The voices may talk to the person or about the person. In some circumstances the individual may understand what they are hearing, whilst in others it may be hard to make sense of what the voices are saying. Some individuals may report seeing images and visions that they find distressing or experience unusual bodily sensations or distressing smells, e.g some people report feelings of having insects crawling on their body.
The individual may say they know where the voices are coming from, e.g the wardrobe, the television, from part of their own head, or someone they know such as a family member, neighbour or someone from their past. The voices can often say unpleasant and rude things and the person may often talk back or shout at the voices even when other people are present. Some individuals may try listening to music or the television at a very high volume as a method of trying to drown out the sound of the voices.
Sometimes the voices will say humorous things, which will cause the individual to laugh and smile. This may be in situations when laughing and smiling does not appear to be the most obvious thing to do.
Occasionally the voices may instruct the person to do particular things such as opening the front door at night, to stay awake, to not eat food, to not to take a shower or to self harm and not to talk about their experiences. It can be very distressing for the person if they feel they must obey the voices.
When I was first diagnosed with Psychosis I clearly recall the Psychiatrist asking me in our sessions “ does the television talk to you, does the radio talk to you “, I would smile at him in agreement but not say anything. When I watched television or listened to the radio it was as if the broadcast was aimed directly at me and that I was the epicentre of the Universe and everything revolved around me “ The I/ME “, I was God.
During my 22 year engagement with the British NHS Mental Health System, I have met other sufferers who believed that they were the ‘ Second Coming ‘ i.e Jesus or other prophets. These thoughts, feelings and beliefs of God realisation has very significant spiritual meaning, as there is a fine line between Spirituality and Psychosis, or is there a line ??
In 2005 I was admitted in hospital, I had attended 3 different hospitals in total it was one of my worst relapses through no fault of my own, my medication was changed from Lithium to Abilify causing a psychotic episode. When I was in one of the hospitals I was weened of my medication so that I may be put on new medication a mood stabiliser called Depakote. In the process I suffered the worst bout of voices, I was in my room and it was the middle of the night and I was sleeping on my stomach when suddenly the voices began, it was as if there was a man and a woman sitting at the bottom of my bed having a conversation and there were children running up and down shouting, laughing and playing. I was stunned and paralysed with fear, I was to freightened to look around so I buried my face in my pillow and went to sleep. In the morning I reported the incident to the Psychiatric Nurse who arranged for me to talk to the duty Psychiatrist. I reiterated my story to the Doctor who asked me ‘what do think the Voices were….??’, In response I replied ‘The Spirit World’, where the Doctor replied ‘I agree’.
When you study Egyptian anthropology, statue of Jackals ( that are part of the dog family ) were placed outside the entrances of Tombs & Temples as guardians for spirits, because their sense of sight & sound was at a much higher frequency than Humans, it was believed they were in touch with the spirit world. My belief is that when an individual is in a psychotic state of mind ( where the mind is functioning at higher frequencies of thought ), the Voices & Hallucinations are access gateways into the spiritual realms. The problem being the individual is unable to function in the constraints of society at large and may be viewed as a danger and threat to themselves and/or to society.
The other few points I would like to make is the feeling of physical ‘weightlessness’, extreme physical & mental energy and clarity of thought. It was explained to me by one of my former psychiatrists that the term ‘Bipolar’ was coined by observing individuals who would literally drop dead with exhaustion, rushing around with expendable energy which also leads to the reason why when you are in that state of mind you do not want to sleep as you fear you will lose the ‘Euphoric’ feeling which is directly linked to the physical weightlessness. The false clarity of thought is like I was piecing together puzzles and mysteries of the universe and arriving at solutions which were based on no logical argument premise whatsoever.
Another term to describe this level is ‘Mania’, i.e loss of touch with reality, confused, irrational, not sleeping, paranoid & cruel and reckless behaviour. At the height of Mania are traits like, total loss of judgement, enormous spending, religious delusions and hallucinations.
It does beg the question, during the time of the Prophets there was no Psychiatrist, Psychologist or Mental hospitals, had the prophets been around here today they would be diagnosed with a mental illness, medicated and incarcerated into hospitals.
I will be discussing the aforementioned in further detail in the up-and-coming blogs.