How to deal with someone having a psychosis.
Updated: Jan 7
As a disclaimer I am not a medical professional, I am someone with a mental illness that is giving my opinion on what has worked for me, please seek advice from a medical professional before taking any action.
This is my own experience. Their is a more professional and better way by a doctor who created a method called LEAP that I will post in another post very soon.
The first thing you need to understand is someone in a psychosis can't be reasoned with using logic or explaining reality to them. Most people in this mental state are going through either extreme paranoia or hallucinations and are usually frightened out of their mind with what they are experiencing. You can explain the real situation to them and as much as they want to believe you what they are going through is just too strong.
A psychosis is a result of a chemical imbalance in the brain. Some families think if they just do "tough love" such as kicking them out of the house for a few days to see how hard life is, their behavior will change, they will somehow appreciate their being able to stay with you or their life and just snap out of it. A chemical imbalance can only be fixed by correcting that imbalance with nutritional therapy (longer process) of some kind or medication being put in their system over several days or weeks to fix that chemical imbalance to go back to a normal state of mind.
No amount of yelling, threatening or tough talk will do any good but make the situation worse, and make them feel even more isolated than your loved one already feels internally.
That is not to say that nothing will work. Your loved one doesn't feel safe with what they are experiencing and are probably emotionally traumatized.
One thing that helped me was my family talking in way that made me feel safe, such as saying they would bring me food to my apartment so I woudn't have to leave my apartment or room.For me to be able to minimize my exposure to the outside world or be around people, that really helped. It gave them time to come up with a plan to get me the help I needed.
Even them acknowledging my belief system of people trying to hurt me and them ensuring me they won't let that "organization" or "person" hurt me, and do everything in their power to stop them to keep me calm so it could buy them time until they could get me taken care of by the mental health system. It was a temporary fix to a very bad situation.
You need to take action immediately, sometimes in certain States they won't forcibly take someone into a mental health facility or be hospitalized because of restrictions of those laws. My advice is figure out a way to get them to a state that will or get antispychotic medication if they already have a psychiatrist and make sure they take their medication consistently at home to get it into thier system.
Sometimes people will refuse to take thier medication but their are now medications in shot form that you take once a month instead of taking oral medication, perhaps you can get your loved ones doctor to give them medication in shot form, this worked for me when I was going through this and for me personally the medication worked for my specific body chemistry and within a few days my chemical imbalance leveled out and I was back to my normal self.
In other posts I will give more detailed plans of how to get them treatment, the laws in place to put someone in a 5150 ( to forcibly hospitalize them) and the newer advances in medications that work better than the one's used in the past.
It may seem hard to put your family member in a facility or hospitalized on everyone in the family emotionally and they may hate you in the moment seeing it as cruel, but I know from personal experience once I got better and was my normal self again I thanked them for helping me.
I was grateful that I was able to live my life again.
The recovery from getting better can be hard on them due to the memories of what they went through so give them a few weeks to sort through what they experienced. Go easy on them, they will get back to a happy state of mind eventually.
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