There’s a funny thing that happens when you’re psychotic, everything seems to matter to an enormous degree. This includes things like errant words you see, nuances of people’s speech and body language, movements people make, lyrics in songs, random numbers you see, titles of books and even things commercials say on tv.
Being hyper-aware, everything has significance of some kind.
In the midst of all this you start to realize that a lot of the stuff you see relates to a lot of the other things you’ve experienced. Could they be connected?
Pretty soon you’ve accepted these coincidences and start to see them in everything, further you start to look for them, sometimes to the detriment of common sense.
These connections eventually start to affirm your delusions and it goes deeper and deeper until you’ve completely lost touch with reality.
This process occurred in a big way for me when I first started experiencing psychosis. Everything I saw was some message or indication urging me to follow it, making most of my decisions for me and leading me into a pretty delusional state.
These connections, as they’ve been referred to, are a common experience for people undergoing psychosis.
Sometimes, they take on the character of something larger, esoteric and divine in your mind. They are essentially your conduit to speaking with God, The Universe, The Aliens or whatever particular higher energy you ascribe to. As such, they take on a strong significance that’s very hard to ignore.
This is part of how I came to the conclusion that I was a prophet meant to bring peace to the world.
Of course these connections are and were not real and I had essentially just fallen into psychosis.
The point of all this is to, first, make people aware that the psychosis people with schizophrenia experience, though not real to the general population, is very real and very significant to those dealing with it.
Second, it’s crucial to realize that this psychosis can give people a sense of being important, powerful and in control in a world where they seem to be entirely overlooked and rejected. That’s why it’s so hard to dismantle.
Imagine living life as you would normally, with all your beliefs and behaviors and your collected knowledge about the world and then one day a doctor comes and tells you that all that stuff is wrong, that you’re imagining everything and that you’re insane, further you have to take these pills everyday for the rest of your life in order to fit in with correct society or they will put you in the hospital.
What would you do?
That’s the experience for people with psychosis and realizing that I think is a major step in caring for those people.
It can be a hard thing to deal with but if you’re a caretaker or a parent, take it easy and take it slow on your loved one.
Getting back to stability requires an entire paradigm shift and an entire reframing of what the world really is and how it works.
These connections are just the start of things that need to be addressed and as a person with schizophrenia, they can be hard to let go of.
There are also a whole host of other facets of the illness that need to be dealt with but connections are a start.
Patience is key and it’s ok to get overwhelmed whether you are patient or a caregiver.
Trust that everything is going to be ok and it will eventually work out.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel and though it will take time, you can get there.