“I’m not sure if i am waiting for the next chapter to begin or just waiting for my story to finally come to an end but there is no happy ending for me just a long thread of beautiful tragedy…”
"MR. HOLMES SUFFERS FROM A SEVERE MENTAL ILLNESS AND WAS IN THE THROES OF A PSYCHOTIC EPISODE WHEN HE COMMITTED THE ACTS THAT RESULTED IN THE TRAGIC LOSS OF LIFE AND INJURIES" via James Holmes’ defense team.
WHAT IS PSYCHOSIS?
Psychosis is a serious mental disorder characterized by thinking and emotions that are so impaired, that they indicate that the person experiencing them has lost contact with reality.
People who are psychotic have false thoughts (delusions) and/or see or hear things that are not there (hallucinations).
These experiences can be frightening and may cause people who are suffering from psychosis to hurt themselves or others.
Psychosis affects three out of every 100 people. It is most likely to be diagnosed in young adults, but psychosis can happen to anyone.
Recognizing the Signs of Psychosis
Early stage psychosis:
- difficulty concentrating
- depressed mood
- sleep changes—sleeping too much or not enough
- withdrawal from family and friends
- ongoing unusual thoughts and beliefs
Later stage psychosis
What Are Delusions and Hallucinations?
- disorganized speech—switching topics erratically
- suicidal thoughts or actions
- difficulty functioning
A delusion is a false belief or impression that is firmly held even though it is contradicted by reality and what is commonly held as true. There are delusions of paranoia, grandiose delusions, and somatic delusions.
A hallucination is a sensory perception in the absence of outside stimulus. That means seeing, hearing, feeling, or smelling something that isn’t present. A person who is hallucinating might see things that don’t exist or hear people talking when he or she is alone.
Delusions and hallucinations seem real to the person who is experiencing them.
The following types of psychoses are called psychotic disorders. They can be triggered by stress, injury or illness, or they can appear on their own.
When someone has bipolar disorder, his or her moods swing from very high to very low. When his or her mood is high and positive, he or she may have symptoms of psychosis. The individual may feel extremely good and believe he or she has special powers (not related but thinking about James’ science camp video where he says that people "may believe they have special powers."). When his or her mood is depressed, the individual may have psychotic symptoms that make him or her feel angry, sad, or frightened. These symptoms include thinking someone is trying to harm him or her.
A person suffering from delusional disorder strongly believes in things that are not real.
This is major depression with psychotic symptoms.
Schizophrenia is psychosis that lasts longer than six months. Schizophrenia is a lifelong disease.
Treatment of Psychosis
Treating psychosis may involve a combination of medications and therapy. Most people recover from psychosis with treatment.
Sometimes people suffering from psychosis can become agitated and be at risk of hurting themselves or others. In those cases, it may be necessary to calm them down quickly. This method is called rapid tranquilization. A doctor or emergency response personnel will administer a fast-acting shot or liquid medicine to relax the patient right away. (I’m guessing James’ stay in the psychiatric ward in Novemeber, 2012.)
Drugs and medication
Symptoms of psychosis can be controlled with medications called antipsychotics. These medicines reduce hallucinations and delusions and help people think more clearly. The type of medicine you are prescribed will depend on which symptoms you are experiencing. In many cases, people only need to take antipsychotics for a short time to get their symptoms under control. People with schizophrenia may have to stay on medications for life. (It’s my guess that James is on antipsychotics now. He may also still be being sedated.)