As defined by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), psychosis is characterized by, “disruptions to a person’s thoughts and perceptions that make it difficult for them to recognize what is real and what isn’t.” If someone experiences psychosis, they may see, hear, or believe things that otherwise aren’t real. This can be particularly frightening and confusing for them, making it very important that they seek treatment. There are a number of reasons for why psychosis may develop, but it could be a sign of a serious mental illness: schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, or something else.

Delusions (irrational beliefs) and hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that aren’t there) are common features of psychosis, making this a challenging symptom to treat. When it comes to mental health treatment services, those who experience psychosis require specialized treatment. However, this isn’t always possible, as some locations are quite sparse in this type of help, and others are not adequately trained to properly assist someone with this type of mental condition. A 2014 study published in the journal BMC Health Services Research sought to explore the types of challenges that individuals with psychosis experienced. Four participants and their families completed interviews regarding their mental health service experiences, and four themes emerged:

  • Difficulty understanding the ‘hearing voices phenomenon’ – many of the participants and their families in the study didn’t understand exactly why these psychosis symptoms were occurring. Participants reported feeling “lost”, with many also reporting feeling as though they weren’t properly helped by a mental health professional.
  • Battle with Mental Health Services – a number of participants reported feeling as though they were fighting with mental health professionals for their time and support. As many individuals felt their voices were not heard, a lack of connection made these clients less confident in their recovery.
  • ‘Stuck in a limbo’ – as many of the participants did not feel that they received the help they needed, they ultimately felt ‘stuck in a limbo’, because it didn’t seem like there was much they could do without a mental health professional.
  • The wish for a more holistic approach – both patients and their families wished for a more holistic approach to their mental health so that they would feel more cared for, understood, and believed. Participants mentioned that with this type of support, they would have more space to feel vulnerable and honest about their experiences.

If you or a loved one are experiencing psychosis or symptoms of a serious mental illness, do the research and visit reputable, accredited treatment centers. By doing this, you are ensuring that you’re receiving the best quality of care possible – after all, this is your mental health, and it deserves top priority.

Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.



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