Thursday, Dec 1, 2022

Psychosis made me kinder, not violent

Because they associate it with violence, some people fear the psychosis that can accompany bipolar manic episodes. But my experience of psychosis..

Because they associate it with violence, some people fear the psychosis that can accompany bipolar manic episodes. But my experience of psychosis made me a better person.

psychosis kindness violence religious mania bipolar disorder

A Changed Perspective on Psychosis

Living with bipolar disorder can be challenging and confusing, and some find themselves at the mercy of one particular symptom: psychosis. There is a preconceived notion that psychosis always makes someone violent and scary, which, in my experience, is the furthest thing from the truth.

Psychosis consists of seeing, hearing, and/or believing things that aren’t real. This can be a frightening experience that causes people to lose touch with reality.

However, psychosis can also be an enlightening event, as the individual experiences the world in a new way. Perspectives shift and the world can become an entirely new place through the eyes of someone who is plunged into the depths of a psychotic episode.

My personal experience with losing touch with reality sits at the forefront of my mind nearly two decades later and will forever be a time that makes me ponder in bewilderment and awe.

I had never been kinder or more in touch with spirituality, and I was filled with copious amounts of empathy for my fellow humans.

My Experience of Kindness with Psychosis

It’s 2005, and I am confidently walking down the street. I feel elated with my new perspective on the world and steer my way down to a tattoo parlor.

People in the shop are covered with penned colorings and numerous piercings. I ask the man in the shop to remove my belly button piercing. (It poisons my body!)

The man asks why I am removing it, and I simply say that I am a changed person. I have no need for it anymore.

I exit the shop and travel down the street, where I see a lot of people taking shelter along the sides of buildings. I decide to hand out $5 bills to every person I encounter who is without housing.

I feel astounding with my sudden acts of kindness because I am convinced that I am obediently taking my directions from God by taking care of those who cannot currently care for themselves.

I frequent coffee shops and, as I sit in the corner of the café, I watch people come and go. I feel an overwhelming desire to talk to people—anyone who will listen.

I am bursting at the seams with energy and excitement. I make my way over to a table where an old man is sitting quietly, sipping his coffee. He seems lonely.

“Hi there! My name is Andrea! What’s your name?”

I sit next to him, and he is shockingly surprised, as this young woman in her 20s with a big smile has come his way to have a random chat with him.

He responds, “Hi, my name is Joe. Great to meet you, Andrea!”

Joe and I talk endlessly about his life, for what seems like years, and I want to tell him that he can save his soul if only he were to believe in Jesus. Although I was not a religious person, I had become convinced that God controlled my every move, so talking to strangers about my beliefs became a common and enjoyable thing to do.

I want to help him. I want to help everyone! All people needed to be saved, in my mind, and since I was God’s chosen messenger, it was my job to do just this.

Ever since my spontaneous baptism from a church a week prior, where I only frequented a handful of times, I had found a new sense of meaning in God, but this was certainly out of character.

I exit the coffee shop with feelings of elation, only to see a man who appears rough, without shelter, and looks downtrodden and dirty.

My elation dissipates into despair as I envision what his life must be like.

As I approach him with uncontrollable tears, I quickly remove the gold diamond ring that was given to me by my grandmother, a cherished possession that I never took off.

I hand him the ring and say, “You need this more than I do!” He takes the ring, looks at it to seemingly assess its potential value, then looks away with a scowl.

I am not offended but moved by my actions, and blissful that I was able to help someone that day. I drudge away from him, tears of sympathy pouring down my face. I cry for what seems like hours as I head back to my car. My heart sinks with sadness.

The world IS evil, but at least I am no longer lost. I talk to God on a one-to-one basis and thank him for making me his holy messenger. I hear his words echo in my ears that I have done good.

Religiosity & Psychosis with Bipolar

Spirituality, religiosity, or a feeling of closeness with God is a common theme that many people experience when they are in the throes of a psychosis, which does not necessarily make them violent or scary.

The unpredictability of psychosis can obviously be unsettling, especially for those who have never experienced it before. However, the shift to a new, changed world can sometimes bring a sense of enlightenment that alters a person’s view on the world and may even change how they want to live their life after their recovery.

The experience of psychosis can be absolutely life-changing and bring new and meaningful insights into a person’s mind.

I may have been out of touch with reality, but psychosis made me become more in touch with who I wanted to be in the world, and it positively affected who I am today.

Have you ever had a positive experience with psychosis that made you become a better person or helped you see the world in a new way?

Have you ever experienced insights in a psychosis that brought you benefit rather than detriment and harm?

Originally posted November 30, 2021

The post Psychosis Made Me Kinder, Not Violent appeared first on


By: Andrea Paquette
Title: Psychosis Made Me Kinder, Not Violent
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Published Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2021 14:00:00 +0000


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