Psychosis: The Great Escape
The real world is not an entirely pleasant place, as anyone who's lived a few years can probably attest to. There are times and there are things that some people either don't want to have to deal with, or can't find it in themselves to handle. Many people struggle on with life looking for ways to release the pressure, the stress, and the insanity just a little more often than regular folks. However, for some, the world is just too cruel, or too harsh, or too depressing. For those people, the only real way to relieve the problems of daily life and the world around them is to be completely cut off from it. Some retreat into mountain caves and live their lives out as hermits, but others turn their dislike inwards and end up developing some form of psychosis.
Psychosis can sometimes be a blanket term used to describe a wide range of mental health disorders that deal with a total detachment from reality itself. Unlike problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder or depression, psychosis does not only affect how a person perceives the world. Certainly, perception of reality does play a role in the symptoms of the condition, but most cases show a more drastic consequence. The personality and how the world is viewed is altered, such that the most extreme cases of the condition believe the world to be completely different from the accepted norm. In milder cases, the problem can seem similar to other forms of mental illness, but with far deeper and more dangerous potential repercussions.
Psychosis can have disastrous effects on a person's personal life, with the lines that define a relationship effectively being turned upside down and in on themselves. Some cases have shown signs that close ties, such as those with immediate family members or long-time lovers, tend to be carried over regardless of how detached the mind has become. The nature of the relationship can be altered or twisted in some ways, many of the details are wrong or different, but the bond remains strong. However, other connections are far less likely to survive, with less important people generally being non-existent in the “new reality,” or are far less prominent than they are in reality. The possible causes of the condition can vary, but they are quite known. The obvious cause would be physical damage to the brain itself, particularly thanks to certain diseases. Syphilis and brain tumors, for example, have been known to cause the condition. Leprosy, malaria, AIDS, and a wide selection of electrolyte disorders have also been cited as causes. The other main category of causes comes in the form of various mental health disorders that can cause the condition, chief among them are sleep deprivation and schizophrenia. One interesting theory concerning psychosis is that it might not be a completely separate reality at all.
At one point or another, a large percentage of the human population has experienced an episode in their lives where reality was distorted. These have been interpreted as hallucinations, daydreams, religions visions, and the like. There are some that theorize that the “detached reality” the condition generates is not so much running as an alternate and more similar to a parallel. The theory is open to speculation and misinterpretation, but it basically states that the condition is one that runs side by side with normal consciousness but does not manifest itself.
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