Psychosis and the Bipolar Mind
When I was first diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, I had no clue the definition of psychosis or having a psychotic break.
I am sure my doctors did not want to explain it to me while being manic and going through my own psychotic break. It makes sense to me. How can you tell someone who has lost their mind that they have indeed, lost their mind?!
Trying to explain away a hallucination or delusion to a person experiencing them is like talking to a brick wall.
Psychotic Breaks During Mania
When I look back on my own manic episodes, it is hard to remember believing some of the things I did. I made decisions based on the falsity of my own mind.
During my manic episode in 2015, I believed I was best friends with the Pope. I sincerely thought I had an important idea that would positively change the face of all Christianity. Looking at this situation now, I can see the absurdity of that notion. However, during that time I trusted in its truth like I do the air that I breathe.
This is an example of being delusional.
Having a delusion is by definition, having a belief, opinion, or judgment that is contradicted by reality. These delusions can be anything in nature, but general to different mental illnesses. For example, a large majority of individuals diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder Type 1, have faith-based or spiritual delusions. I for one can be lumped into this group because of the many faith-based delusions I have had.
Another hallmark of having a psychotic break is experiencing a hallucination. There are actually different types of hallucinations. The types of hallucinations are auditory, olfactory (visual), tactile, gustatory (taste), and kinesthetic.
Auditory: Hear sounds and noises that are not real.
Olfactory: Smell an aroma or odor that is not present.
Tactile: Feel something crawl all over your body when there is nothing there. Some individuals feel pressure like someone is touching them and no one is to be found.
Gustatory (Taste): Have a strong taste that is not there. For example, some individuals will have a metallic taste in their mouth. It can mean something different unless all other ailments are ruled out.
Kinesthetic: Think your body is in motion when it is not. For example, flying, walking, running, or falling.
Visual: See shapes, colors, objects, or people that are not there.
Those suffering from Bipolar Disorder Type 1 are more likely to have Auditory Hallucinations as opposed to Visual Hallucinations.
Experiencing a psychotic break is scary and unnerving. What I thought was real contradicted reality.
There are treatments for psychosis. A class of medications called antipsychotics can help.
Have you ever experienced psychosis?
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Until next time, take care of yourself! 🙂