Wow, so we are already at Psychosis in this blog journey of mine? Well in actuality I have had a few bouts over the past few days and the subject is fresh in my mind so what better thing to write about?
Let’s start with the definition of psychosis, as undoubtedly and rightly so people when they see that word instantly conjur up all these gruesome and horrible visions, so let’s get to the true definition of it;
Psychosis is a symptom or feature of mental illness typically characterized by radical changes in personality, impaired functioning, and a distorted or nonexistent sense of objective reality.
Bit heavy isn’t it when you read that? But also hopefully the imagery you imagined of a mass murder and psychopath on the loose in the general populace have subsided when you think about me.
Now as with all MH, Psychosis manifests differently person to person, so I can only write about how it effects me, and what affects that has on me day to day.
As an overview of it however,
People suffering from psychosis have impaired reality testing; that is, they are unable to distinguish personal subjective experience from the reality of the external world. They experience hallucinations and/or delusions that they believe are real, and may behave and communicate in an inappropriate and incoherent fashion. Psychosis may appear as a symptom of a number of mental disorders, including mood and personality disorders. It is also the defining feature of schizophrenia, schizophreniform disorder, schizoaffective disorder, delusional disorder, and the psychotic disorders (i.e., brief psychotic disorder, shared psychotic disorder, psychotic disorder due to a general medical condition, and substance-induced psychotic disorder).
Jesus wept, again Mike with the heavy reading! It’s only a Tuesday for Christ sake.
The causes of psychosis are to a degree unknown and what is known, are great and many of. This paragraph from the Medical Dictionary is one, a sweeping open statement, and two, as factual as it can come with regards causes of psychosis.
Psychosis may be caused by the interaction of biological and psychosocial factors depending on the disorder in which it presents; psychosis can also be caused by purely social factors, with no biological component.
So there we have it, psychosis in all it’s gore and horror… dum dum dum! But how does it effect me? That’s the reason for me writing this blog today, one to explain to everyone and two for my own reasons, it’s very carthotic for me to write at times and this is one of them.
As highlighted above my Psychosis is a byproduct of my BPD, and is something that I have suffered with (now I understand what it is) for as long as I can remember.
In me it manifests in two distinct ways.
Disassociation – More commonly known as ‘zoning out’ amongst most people. Quite often I will lose chunks of time, time when I am with my children or my Mrs and I will come out of one of these bouts and have no recollection of the time I was ‘under’. I will still be functioning, and to most people perfectly fine, but to those close to me such as Suzi and my children they recognise my bouts.
Hallucinations – This is the least common of the two, however the most worrying for me to experience. I only suffer from this part in particular at night time, particularly when I am falling asleep and my conscious and subconscious minds meet. I will see vivid as Day imagery in front of my eyes, it is as if I am there and can physically see and smell my surroundings and interact with them. Due to the experiences in my life, these quite often are flashbacks almost and will quite often have people from my past in them and relive experiences time and time again. The worst case of a hallucination I have had was awaking and an almost demonic like creature was stood over me. At first when this happened I was shit scared! (You fucking would be too!) now as it has happened more than once, I have far from got used to and accept it, but I can handle it better and know with the rational part of my brain that it isn’t there and doesn’t exist.
The final part of this condition that is really affecting me is short term memory loss which is massively associated with bouts of disassociation. So if you text me at night time and I don’t ever reply, or you ask me late in the day to do something, you may want to ring me the following day to remind me as it is more than likely that I have forgotten all about it. I know that is a jovial way of looking at it but it has its bad side too and case and point is this example. A few nights ago I went to give Alfie my youngest his evening bath and put him to bed at his Mums house. I have almost NO recollection of that, other than photos I took and messages I sent to Suzi whilst I was there. That is my son, my world and because of what I am fighting in my head I can barely remember being there. I remember laughter and love, but I cannot remember specifics. I know when I win this fight with BPD, which I fucking will, this son of a bitch ain’t beating me, those memories are in there somewhere and I will find them and I will cherish them all.
In closing I don’t want anyone to read this and think what a ‘psychopath and lunatic’ – Those that know me, know I am anything but. Yes I have my moments, as everyone does and yes mine may be bigger than yours, but I am still Mike. Yes I suffer from BPD amongst other conditions, but I am fighting this and I will win that fight and I will help to break this stigma that is attached to all MH issues. Some people call it an illness, me I call it a wire or two out of place. I’m not unwell, my wires are just plugged in different to yours.
Anyway it’s Tuesday, time to go eat and stroke my beard and cuddle my Suzi.
Peace out guys ✌️