Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Chronic Psychosis?!

I woke up today with the above word playing in my head. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia defines psychosis as "a loss of contact with reality, usually including false ideas about what is taking place or who one is (delusions) and seeing or hearing things that aren't there (hallucinations)".

What determines that reality to which a 'Psychotic' patient has lost contact? One may look to the immediate family. If the immediate family is dissatisfied with the current state of affairs and believes that the patient has an unrealistic or false sense of the reality, then the patient may be perceived as psychotic. The question then is how 'real' is the immediate family's reality? We hit an impasse.

If I were to broaden this, it will appear that society may offer a way out - Democracy. If we were to cast a vote on the state of mind of the patient, then a majority vote in favour of the patient's psychosis will be proof...or will it? In corporate parlance, a two-third majority in favour may be a better proof of the patient's psychosis. History however tells us that democratic majority have been wrong. It however, remains a weapon in our armoury of testing how 'real' is reality.

Some Psychotic episodes can more readily be diagnosed. For example if someone was going about breaking the natural laws of the land especially those laws that espouses right to life, right to dignity and capacity of humans to understand the difference between good and evil.

If we discount those easy to diagnose cases of psychosis and concentrate on someone who feels a 'divine' calling. Someone who has identified his purpose for being on earth and wish to achieve that purpose. He may hurt or upset his loved ones, he may alienate a vast sway of people but he perceives this to be his destiny. This destiny conforms with and re-enforces a great chunk of the natural laws. Shall we tag on him a label of Chronic Psychosis simply because we don't understand him?

That is a question for society but I am sure if a loss of contact with reality is the only measure of psychosis, then we have a lot of Chronic Psychosis patients out there: this writer included!

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