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Hi, I'm new...  I did post on here over a year ago but I can't remember what my username was.


I'm wondering if you might be able to help me.  I have an appointment with a new psychiatrist on Tuesday but, before I see him, I would like to hear this from people who have a lived experience of mental illness.


I think I have experienced psychosis but I can't relate to the definitions that I have found online.  I have read about 15 or 20 definitions but only two come close.


Also, I should say...  I'm not clear what my diagnosis is at the moment because my doctor thinks my mental illness, and my diagnosis, is changing.  In the past I have been diagnosed with:




Bipolar Disorder (though I'm not clear whether it was I or II).

Borderline Personality Disorder


I think I was in a psychosis last week, for about 3-5 days, and I think I have experienced psychosis before ongoingly.


Sorry, I'm not sure what else to say...  I feel a bit stuck.  I guess I want to understand what exactly a psychosis is because it has never been clear to me.  Though I have a strong feeling that I have experienced it before.


I hope this makes sense and sorry about my lame username.  My mind was completely blank and I couldn't think of anything cool.

Edited by avocadobear
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I think your username is cute.


It's good you are seeing a pdoc.  Maybe write down the symptoms you are having so you don't forget anything.


There is good info on psychosis in the link parapluie posted (stickied to the top of the board)



Some symptoms I have had: auditory hallucinations (hearing voices, I tend to hear voices of people I know) ideas of reference (connecting dots that aren't there) delusions (thoughts that are not considered real by most people)

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Have you read the pinned topic at the top of the board called "What is psychosis?" ? That might help you out a bit. :)


Basically psychosis is when someone experiences sensations and thoughts that are not congruent with reality, or everyone else's reality. There's more to it than that, but that's a basic summary. 


In my experience of psychosis, I struggled with delusions. Delusions are when you believe something despite evidence to the contrary. So, I struggled with thinking the sun in the sky was implanting ideas into my head. I also had 'ideas of reference,' thinking that things in the environment were somehow related to me or had messages for me. Finally, I hallucinate, but very benign things. I'll hallucinate sparkles or mice, stuff like that. I have some ongoing psychotic symptoms, like mild hallucinations, but otherwise my psychosis comes in episodes. My last episode lasted about a month with residual symptoms for a few months. Well, maybe it was ongoing for a few months with varying intensity.


Can you write down your experiences and then give the paper to the psychiatrist? Or, you could say something like "I think I have experienced psychosis before, but I'm not sure." And they should ask you questions and ask you to tell your story. 


Unfortunately, we can't say whether or not you have experienced psychosis. But we can tell our stories and you can see if any of it sounds familiar. 

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Thanks for your replies : )


I will try and explain what's been happening...  First I will try and explain what I think was a mini episode.


When I'm in it I don't know that I'm in it, I have no insight at all (and I'm usually very self-aware and insightful).  I don't understand what's happening to me.  I have had visual hallucinations in the past, but this time I didn't have any.  I think it is mostly a problem with delusional, persecutory thinking.  I believe that I'm a really, really bad person and that something really, really bad is going to happen to me.  It's like I can't tell the difference between my inner, imaginary world and the exterior world and my ability to test reality is wonky.  I would describe it as a reality disturbance.


After a day or two I recognise something and I say to myself "Hey, this is familiar.  This has happened before".  Then a day or two later I think "Hey, I'm in that thing again".  And then I start to go back to normal.  Also, while I'm in it it's very, very scary. 


It's like if there was a straight line, and the straight line was time with reality on one side and non-reality on another, my experience would be like a snaking line that goes in and out of reality.


Sorry, that's the best description I have!




Sorry, I forgot to say...  With the visual hallucinations I see scary faces in shadows, in foliage and on walls, though I haven't experienced this for about four years.

Edited by avocadobear
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Tell all of that to your pdoc on your visit.  I can't tell from your description if it is psychosis.


Do you feel anxious, too?  When I'm anxious sometimes I think i'm a bad person or a sense of doom which leads to depression then more anxiety and snowballs. I also dissociate briefly sometimes when I'm anxious where things don't seem real, I feel like I'm watching myself.  


Here is one link (I did a quick google there is probably a better source) that compares anxiety and psychosis.  But, you can have both at the same time, too.


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That's okay, I understand that you can't diagnose me.  It's helping me just to write about it : )


Yes, I feel anxious and I'm very impatient and irritable with people. I actually think I'm also having a manic episode without the euphoria (I have only experienced euphoria once).


Thanks for the link.  That is very interesting.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for sharing m8. In the past I have also been preoccupied with attaining some kind of diagnosis. I have been diagnosed from depression to OCD and finally to schizo effective disorder. That is focussing on the Effect side of the equation.

What I have found useful, at least for myself is to focus on the Cause sound of the equation. This could be a chemical Inbalance within the system. All very well and good. iin my experience the root cause stemmed from my childhood experiences. Whatever your path I sincerely wish you all the best


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