Psychosis is defined as being overwhelmed to the point of losing grip on reality. Sometimes this manifests itself as paranoia that people are going to kill you and sometimes it manifests itself as delusions that people are sending you secret messages through their body language or their words.
Essentially psychosis is when you start to fully believe that the things your brain is telling you are true and, for people with mental illness, psychosis is a big thing to worry about.
It goes without saying that a life of not being able to trust your own mind is not the greatest carnival ride in the world, but millions of people deal with it on a daily basis.
It’s also different for everybody, sometimes you get so hung up on something that it start to affect the way you see the world.
Psychosis doesn’t only happen in with mental illness either, sometimes in periods of great stress or trauma normal people can start to believe things that are outside the scope of reality.
Personally, I’ve lived with schizophrenia for ten years so I’m acutely attuned to the things my mind is telling me. Sometimes I lose myself and that’s perfectly normal for someone in my situation, but having the wherewithal to realize that something isn’t quite right is part and parcel of nursing yourself back to sanity.
All that said, I’ve learned some tricks for dealing with psychosis when it happens. These are all part of my tool bag for dealing with that stuff and they’ve worked, to varying degrees for me. Maybe they can help you too.
First and foremost, if you find yourself spiraling into paranoia and delusion, maybe something someone said made you think they were spying on you, step outside for a moment and take a few minutes to yourself. Take several deep breaths, five seconds in and five seconds out and do this for however long it takes to slow your racing heart. Take whatever time you need to yourself to get a grip on the situation, removing yourself is essential in order to quell the constant barrage of messages you think you’re receiving.
Secondly, and this is just as important, talk to someone you trust about how you’re feeling, analyze the situation with them being as honest as possible about everything you were thinking and get reassurance that none of what you thought was happening was actually happening. It can be hard to separate yourself from the thoughts you’re having and getting an outside perspective can give you a good look at the reality of the situation aside from the things your brain was telling you.
Lastly, if you have emergency meds on hand, which you probably should, take them. They’ll help to calm you down and reduce the anxiety and nervousness you are feeling from the situation.
While it may seem defeatist to rely on meds there’s no harm in living better through chemistry. That’s the reason they were invented, to help you.
I know it can be hard in the midst of psychosis but take the time you need, talk to someone and take your meds, these are all things that have helped me, they’ll probably work for you too.