Psychotic Symptoms - Part3
Updated: Feb 25, 2021
Psychosis can affect an individual’s feelings. The individual may experience difficulties in their ability to feel the right types of Emotions at the right time, e.g they may laugh on hearing about bad news or cry and become visibly upset when everyone else is laughing.
If you are a relative, you may have noticed that the person does not seem to care for or relate to you as they did before or express their affection in the same way. There may be fewer and fewer times when you feel that you can really talk to each other and you may wonder whether they still feel anything for you at all. It is Important not to blame the person, because their usual feelings will have been affected by their experience of psychosis, thus they may feel quite strange and isolated from the world.
I feel everybody needs a bit of ‘Me Time’ to degrees, now and then, but as a sufferer of psychosis and the way it has affected me I need more ‘Me Time’, and have even been categorised as a ‘Loner’. Too much Social human contact overwhelms me and I need to go into the ‘cave’ ( my office, or bedroom, pacing up and down relentlessly ) to process the information overload, thinking & reanalysing the social scenario, what was said, by whom to whoever, and what my reaction would be the next time round.
There may be times when an individual with psychosis becomes irritable or short-tempered, even with loved ones or someone they are fond of. This can sometimes be due to the fact that the person does not always feel in control of how they are feeling and may be unaware of how this affects those around them. Individuals with psychosis can be withdrawn and more shy rather than threatening, and individuals may be more sensitive and affected by criticism than others. From personal experience I can say that my ‘level’ of psychosis at the height of the episode was homicidal level, I had absolutely no regard for human life, I was targeting anyone who fell outside of my supposed ‘rules of engagement’, which was ‘Elderly, Women & Children’ were out of bounds, anyone else was a potential target.
An individual with psychosis may often withdraw from other people and be less willing to participate in everyday activities or talk to others. They may prefer to be on their own and choose to stay in their room for long periods of time. They may rush through social gatherings such as family meals in order to return to being on their own in their room. When the individual is alone, they may appear to be doing very little or they may be listening or talking to the voices they hear or pacing up and down.
Their withdrawal from others usually happens when they find it difficult to relax and feel at ease with other people. They may feel either awkward or anxious and feel unable to do or say the ‘right’ thing.
Individuals with psychosis may also experience symptoms of depression and anxiety. They may also feel irritable and angry at times.
In mild to moderate depression symptoms range from feelings of panic and anxiety, difficulty in concentration and poor memory, slow thinking, no appetite, need to be alone, sleep is excessive or difficult, everything becomes a struggle.
Severe depression symptoms include feelings of hopelessness, guilt, thoughts of suicide, little physical movement, impossible to do anything, endless suicidal thoughts, no way out, no movement, the outlook is bleak and will always stay like this.
Lack of Energy, Interest and Motivation
It is very common for people with psychosis to spend a lot of time sleeping and they will often find it difficult to get up in the mornings despite requests and coaxing from others. Many individuals may be asleep and awake at completely different times from the rest of the family and this can often make life very difficult.
Sleep difficulties may be related to different factors e.g some medications can make you feel sleepy. For some people, sleep may be considered a helpful strategy to cope with their distressing experiences such as hearing voices or seeing visions.
It can also be common for individuals to display little interest in the things around them and have little idea about what to do with their time. Their mind may seem blank or they may repeatedly request that you do things to keep them occupied.
Their lack of energy can cause them to take a long time over such things as housework or job. This can be very hard to live with and may make going back to any kind of work feel like quite a struggle.
Arguments can often arise over personal hygiene, again due to lack of interest and energy. A person with psychosis may neglect to comb their hair, refuse to bathe or clean their teeth. They may also dress unusually or refuse to change their clothes.
Some individuals with psychosis may become careless about some things but unusually fussy about others, thus, they may insist that their room is kept in a certain way or that you do not disturb their possessions.