Psychotic Break Survival Skill Kit: Moderate Impairment

Psychosis has a pattern and habit of evolving into something more elaborate and complex to unravel and make sense of for the person experiencing the symptom. As your psychosis worsens or levels off as a fixed delusional system as a more manageable impairment you will benefit from a skill set differentiates from someone with simply mild symptoms. The more complex the system, the deeper the psychosis, the more simple and concrete your skills should be for combating the disruption to your reality. As psychosis deepens, so does the persons capacity to see beyond circumstance and seemingly discrete events or ideas without real connection.

Preparedness will be critical in executing your skills for surviving moderate impairment from psychotic symptoms correctly, safely, and without incident. The survival skill set for moderate impairment will draw on your self-awareness to preserve and maintain your own safety. Always review the skills learned here with your therapist before implementing them in your living environment.

Preserving your safety during psychotic break with moderate symptoms will be more challenging because your self-awareness is dramatically impaired. At this point, you aren’t just hearing voices; you also want to respond to them. The voices are probably loud and may be saying things to you that you may or may not understand. The voices can be speaking to each other, to you, or any number of combinations. This article will explore what to do before you feel like you need to react to them or listen to their commands.

The critical skill here is remembering your internal voice is the only voice other people can hear or that you need to listen.  If you stare at someone and attempt to communicate with your mind the other person may act bizarrely or feel threatened. Certainly, you will appear bizarre and threatening. Should you feel you need to stare, and use your mind powers, do not stare blankly, smile and use non-threatening gestures to articulate your needs.

You may desire or feel like you need to reply to the voices. Go ahead. But remember, whenever you speak, youre making noise, and may be on someones radar already because you are acting bizarrely. So, if you need to speak to them, do so in a public area and not isolated on your own or it will appear that you are responding to internal stimuli.

With moderate symptoms, the FBI or CIA may begin speaking to you or you may believe you are a part of an investigation. This is a typical delusion or false belief that seems as real as it is threatening. If you feel you need to investigate, or participate in the investigations or chatter of the voices, do so in a manner that does not put yourself or anyone at risk of harm or feel like they are being intruded upon like friends or family in a household. Remember, if you are going to play the part of an investigator charged by your voices to search or dig for their demands, you shouldn’t be doing anything illegal, and be above the law.

Ultimately, your basic needs will need to be addressed while all these delusions are at work and incorporated into your activities of daily living. At this point in time, your money may be exhausted or your living situation at risk. Begin stocking food away. This food should be easy to consume and prepare. It’s hard to cook meals when you barely have the capacity to bathe.

Make sure you have money or a way of getting around town.

Write down phone numbers on paper, you may not have electricity to charge your phone or you might lose your phone from confusion.

When you are out of options and are at risk of imminent harm, begin making your way to the hospital. If the police find you and you cannot speak sensibly anymore, put your hands in the air or behind your back and wait to be taken to the nearest emergency room for in-patient admission. Listen as closely as possible to the instructions of authorities and participate in their protocols to avoid an escalation of force and mandatory treatment measures.


1 Comment

  1. Unfortunately many police encounters with the mentally ill, due to mutual misunderstandings and lack of adequate training, lead to bad results. Physical altercations, arrests, or even death are all outcomes which are more likely to occur in that setting than police interactions with those who are not suffering from mental disability. Hopefully, with an increased spotlight on this issue over the last few years, productive reform will be forthcoming.


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