This is a reposting of a previously published blog post on this site. Psychosis is now inside quibble quotes. Psychiatric as a root word and the adjectival form of psychosis have been edited. Detachment from reality could just as well be used to describe a psychological state of mind that could apply to anyone, so this expression has been replaced with neurologically detached from reality, a subjective experience that is so far beyond the grasp of any of us who have not experienced it as to be otherworldly. It is unfortunate that advocates have to grapple with these problematic terms due to the negligence of the medical community in abandoning people with these medical disorders to a sector that has been dominated and disfigured by nonsensical philosophies and psychotherapeutic ideas.
This post was precipitated by the news of the execution just days ago of a man who suffered from severe neurodysmentation with neurobehavioral symptoms for most of his life. In fact, the onset of neurobehavioral symptoms for him began perhaps possibly more than a decade before it is typical for most people. The execution of this man set my thoughts upon something I have been thinking of recently…
…That being locked inside of the state of “psychosis” can be a type of death – of the self.
It can take years to acquire deep insights into serious brain function disorders even with direct exposure to it. It took several years after I began to call myself an advocate before I began to think that “psychosis” had to be much more complex that just a some hallmark symptoms (such as delusions and hallucinations). I came to perceive that consciousness itself must be severely altered when someone became neurologically detached from reality to the degree that bizarre acts of self-harm or harm to others took place. Who should be held criminally responsible for a symptomatic act of unlawful behavior, or violence when the self is “dead”? Would it be just to convict and punish someone who carried out an unlawful or violent act while in a state of somnolence -as a sleep disorder?
Understanding neurodysmentation with altered state of consciousness requires exposure, research, cognitive capacity, and contemplation. Sometimes, when I conceive of a particular idea and I reach the point where I think that my conceptualization is sound, I am able to construct a new string of words for a web search.
Yesterday, a web search hit on this poignant account of what it is like to descend into psychosis. Fortunately, for the woman in this first-person narrative, she experienced enough of a flicker of insight, that she was able to recognize the need to get medical attention. Sadly, for people afflicted with persistent and profound anosognosia, they will never know that they are experiencing a potentially life-threating and dangerous neurological detachment from reality. That said, even though her flash of insight may appear to have been a moment of connection with reality, readers should be circumspect to the fact that anything a person thinks, says, or does while neurologically detached from reality can be an element of delusional mentation – which means, that even the thought of calling the doctor could have sprung from a tangled delusion…the act may not reflect “sanity” or insight.
Link: Psychosis is like death
The woman in this story was trapped in the state of “psychosis” for six months. This altered state of consciousness was not some type of psychological existential experience – this is not what psychosis is, “psychosis” is a neurological condition. It can be surmised from elements in the story that “she”, or more accurately, her brain’s severely disordered semblance of mind, was doing all sorts of things that a “crazy” person is not supposed to be able to do – things that require high-level executive functioning. This is why “psychosis” can be so potentially dangerous. Consider why the human body is engineered to paralyze ambulation and other motor functions while a person is asleep. Given that the state of consciousness is disordered in psychosis, intact executive functioning can be similarly and even more dangerous because of horrifically bizarre neurodysmentation.
Everyone’s “psychosis” is different. Tragically, some people experience neural dysfunctions that directly cause dark and violent ideation and symptomatic violent behaviors, both “premeditated within neurodysmentation” (which should not imply criminal responsibility) and paroxysmal. No one in a state of the “psychosis” that attends an illness such as “Schizophrenia” or Bipolar should should be punished under the law. Not everyone will become violent without pharmaceutical treatment because their brains are not identically afflicted at the neural level but the possibility is very real and that is why “psychosis” should be treated as a medical emergency.