Understanding Psychosis: Can the Participatory Medicine movement help individuals with symptoms of psychosis?

By Maria Mangicaro

mangicaro829@aol.com

As an individual who has experienced psychotic episodes, I believe that the emergence of participatory concepts in mental health care can empower consumers to become engaged in recognizing symptoms, selecting treatment options, and working in partnership with providers to develop illness self-management recovery programs.[1][2] Patient empowerment is critically needed to strengthen the mental health care system. Innovative strategies targeting informed, safe decisions are needed in order to effectively involve mental health consumers in the prevention and recovery of psychotic disorders.

Psychosis results in loss of contact with reality, sometimes including delusions, insomnia, hallucinations or impaired cognitive functioning.[3] Psychotic behavior affects the ability to manage and maintain personal relationships, employment, medical care, and in some cases, housing.[4][5] A psychotic experience distorts an individual’s belief system and perceptions. Most individuals experiencing a psychosis have poor insight regarding their illness and refuse to acknowledge that a problem even exists.[6]

Click here to read more in the Journal of Participatory Medicine

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