Psychotic Symptoms - Part 2
A very common symptom is the difficulties an individual has in thinking about things. Thought processing becomes very erratic. Sometimes an individual will experience difficulties in communicating their point to others. They may find it hard to concentrate and to ‘Keep on Track’, and may not be easily understood by those around them. Their thoughts may feel like they have become disarranged. Consequently, they may find it difficult to think clearly and to keep their thoughts in order.
There are also times when there is an overwhelming of thoughts and that the only way to get rid of the thoughts is to talk and share them with someone else, and it may then seem they are talking continuously and this makes it difficult for the person they are talking to, to follow what they are saying.
The other opposite scenario to this is that the individual may stop talking altogether and their mind becomes ‘Blank’. The individual may not understand what has happened and it can be a terrifying experience.
Discomforting & Distressful Beliefs
Individuals with Psychosis often develop strong beliefs about their experiences, events and other people, an example of this is mild to severe ‘Paranoia’, they might think that their neighbours are spying on them or strangers they meet have access to their thoughts and know exactly what they are thinking, and in some psychotic episodes I have had I believed that I could control the thoughts and minds of people, and that there was a conspiracy against me, also you fit your experiences and environment around your belief so that in a psychotic mind it makes perfect logical sense, e.g I used to work for a software house who were taken over by IBM, then when I was working at a Investment bank they were taken over by then the Abbey National, I also worked at a Electrical wholesalers who’s I.T department was outsourced to IBM, when in a psychotic state of mind ( and in a ‘Normal’ state of mind !! ) I strongly believed that IBM were after me !!.
The beliefs might seem unusual to others or even not make much sense, but to the person themselves the beliefs usually feel like the best explanation for their experiences. The running theme in my mind at the height of psychosis was that I was in the midst of world war 3, East versus West, this caused me to get aggressive and violent towards certain individuals, I thought that I was God reincarnated on Earth as the Terminator and therefore I had special superhuman powers, to stop the war.
The individual is often so convinced about the truth of their belief that they are unlikely to be persuaded by means of usual logical arguments or reassurance that there may be an alternative view and that their belief may not be true. When at the height of my psychotic episode I would be aggressive towards other people when questioned about my beliefs, and I would continuously be in threat/defence mode. I was very intimidating as I am 6ft ‘1 and 15 stones. There were a few times when I was involved in physical violence, part of the warped belief was that the London Underground Network was a ‘Time Tunnel’, running from East-to-West from which I would travel, and I would aggressively order certain passengers to get off the train and got into some fist fights along the way.
Some of these strong beliefs can often be found in individuals who are not in contact with mental health services. However, these individuals are often less distressed and preoccupied by their experiences.
The medical term for unusual ideas is called DELUSIONS.