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Understanding Psychosis

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  1. An Introduction to Psychotic Disorders
    What is Psychosis?
  2. Introduction to Psychosis and Treatment Options
  3. The Signs & Symptoms of Psychosis
    The Signs & Symptoms of Psychosis
  4. Delusions
    3 Topics
  5. Hallucinations
    1 Topic
  6. Reacting to Psychotic Experiences
  7. The Causes of Psychosis
    Exploring the Causes of Psychosis
  8. Diagnosing Psychotic Disorders
    The Diagnosis of Schizophrenia
  9. The Diagnosis of Schizoaffective Disorder
    5 Topics
  10. Treatment for Psychosis
    Treatment Available for Psychosis
    5 Topics
  11. What Are Antipsychotic Drugs?
    8 Topics
  12. The Side Effects of Antipsychotics
    12 Topics
  13. Mental Health Services
    Hospital Admission and Crisis Services
  14. Community Care and Advocacy for Psychosis
  15. Living with Psychosis
    Overcoming Psychotic Experiences
  16. How Can I Help Myself During a Psychotic Episode?
  17. What Can Family & Friends Do to Help?
  18. Challenging Stereotypes and Stigma
Lesson 16 of 18
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How Can I Help Myself During a Psychotic Episode?4mins 30secs

When one is given a diagnosis it can be a great relief if they have been feeling overwhelmed by their experiences. One expert, Prof Marius Romme, suggests that people’s own personal perspective can be as valid as a medical view of psychosis, which sees psychotic experience as an illness to be treated. They may include many different explanations for the experience – parapsychological, psychodynamic, psychological, spiritual or mystical. These allow people a framework for developing their own coping strategies. The more involved you can be in your own treatment and in looking after yourself, the better.

Will I Get Over My Experience of Psychosis?

The majority of those who have one psychotic episode never have another one. Others may be prone to fairly short-lived episodes throughout their lives. Some may live with ongoing psychosis as a long-term problem. However serious the difficulties, there are treatments and coping strategies that reduce the disruption and enable people to lead fulfilling lives and achieve their ambitions.

Self-Help Groups & Coping Strategies

Talking to other people who also have hallucinations, whether hearing voices or seeing things that are not there can provide reassurance and hope, increase self-esteem and reduce isolation. Various organisations run self-help groups, which encourage members to share their experiences and help them to come to terms with them. They can help people to recognise underlying patterns in their experiences, develop and discuss strategies, identify early signs of crisis, and take active steps to manage the situation. People who are experienced at this often train others. Books and booklets containing the same information are also helpful.

Self-help groups and coping strategies for psychosis


Taking steps to increase relaxation is important. Relaxation exercises, yoga, meditation and other physical activities can help. For some people, massage, aromatherapy or reflexology can be a benefit, yet for others, touch can evoke unexpectedly powerful or intense feelings that may cause distress.


Advance Directives

During a crisis, you may not be able to tell people what helps you. While you are well, it may be a good idea to discuss with someone you trust what you would like to happen, or not happen, when you are in a crisis. You may like to make out an advance directive (also known as a living will), which states this in writing.

Course Discussion