The 5 Types of Fear Psychosis Brings Out in Me
There are five types of fear I associate with psychosis. Although, since my diagnosis 15 years ago, I have often been told that my illness doesn't define me, it's hard to separate myself from the types of fear psychosis brings out in me. Having schizoaffective disorder has had a huge impact on how I see and feel about the world around me, particularly when experiencing psychosis. My psychosis primarily consists of auditory and visual hallucinations which are sometimes terrifying. Experiencing hallucinations has felt differently pre- and post-diagnosis. Here are five different types of fear I've felt with psychosis. Good or bad, these fears have been an important part of my life story.
Types of Fear Related to Psychosis
I've felt threatened by my hallucinations.
I don't even remember when my hallucinations started, but I remember feeling scared of them from a very young age. I thought spirits were trying to connect with me and not in a good way. It was like they fed off of my fear. I would see shadowy and sometimes luminescent figures as well as hear voices. It was an everyday occurrence, sometimes several times a day. I would anger them when I made loud noises or tried to share my secret of their existence. I thought they would torment me forever.
I feared isolation caused by my hallucinations.
It was obvious that the people around me weren't experiencing the same things I was. I questioned, "Why me?" I feared isolation and feeling different. The spirits chose me and no one else would understand my experience. This wasn't something I could talk about openly without judgment from others. I've always been a motivated person and I didn't want others to see me as crazy or incapable.
My diagnosis came with an earth-shattering fear followed by relief.
When I received my diagnosis, it felt like the ground was falling beneath me. What I thought was real, wasn't. For a minute, my world was turned upside down. The spirits aren't real. Are other things in my life fantasy as well? What is real? Thankfully, this scary realization was short-lived. A sense of relief came over me when I knew with schizoaffective medication that the torment of the spirits was over.
Occasional hallucinations leave me with an uneasy feeling.
I still hallucinate. It's rare and it usually means I'm feeling overwhelmed. But when it happens, it leaves me with an uneasy feeling. Did anyone else hear that? I do a quick reality check to identify that it was, in fact, a hallucination. It's like feeling a little dizzy and taking a quick moment to regain your balance.
I fear embarrassment when I hallucinate in front of others.
Finally, there's a fear that someone will realize when I hallucinate. I always assume that I just look a little distracted and no one will really take note. I don't usually hide my illness, but there are some situations where I don't want to have to explain myself.
These Types of Fear Have Helped Create Who I Am
In my life, out of the ashes of fear came love and strength. Overcoming psychosis made me realize my strength as well as regain my connection with family, friends, and the world around me. My experiences have played an important part of who I am today.
This is only my story and others may have different experiences with psychosis. What has your experience with psychosis felt like? What types of fear do you relate to psychosis? Let me know in the comments.
Rahm, M. (2019, July 10). The 5 Types of Fear Psychosis Brings Out in Me, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, September 25 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/recoveringfrommentalillness/2019/7/the-5-types-of-fear-psychosis-brings-out-in-me
Author: Megan Rahm
That fear of isolation is so real, and I love how vulnerable and real you are in addressing these fears. I think what I love most about this read though is how you say the fears shaped you. This is so powerful, and so beautiful: "out of the ashes of fear came love and strength"
Thank you so much for your comment and kind words. There was a time in my life where my hallucinations just consumed me. If I wasn't actively experiencing them, I was thinking about them. In a way, it was paralyzing. It's amazing to look back at that time now and see how far I've come. Psychosis is a really hard thing to work through. I love having this platform at Healthy Place to share my experiences and connect with others. We are not alone.
When I hallucinate, I always fear that I lose a connection with the reality.
Thank you for your comment. I agree -- it is very scary to lose a connection with reality. I also think it's scary when you regain that connection. Sometimes even when you're doing well you still question reality due to past experiences. I don't always trust my own senses.