Learning! The experience of psychosis

The BMJ has a fascinating series where they are talking to patients about their experiences in health care.  It's a really really enlightening window into what it's actually like for patients that is obviously useful for doctors, but also valuable for us regular folk.

This is the first in the series on mental health, where a patient talks about his experience in becoming hospitalized during a psychotic break.

Imagine groping your way up the shallow steps of a cinema auditorium, full of a powerful film that will colour the rest of your weekend. Make it a film that has got your heart pumping, made you sweat or startle. For good measure, an auditorium light has just exploded, showering one row of the audience with pieces of glass. Multiply all this 10-fold, and it’s roughly how I’m feeling now.

He or she describes what it's really like to be interviewed by doctor after doctor, to overhear snippets of conversations, and to wait and wait and wait (without sleep) to be treated. There isn't much practical application for this in my life, but you never know when you're going to encounter someone having a psychotic break, and a little understanding goes a long way in the world.


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