One year on I am wondering: where did my psychosis come from?

Dear all, I appreciate that this post might be difficult to answer. I am stumped myself, hence why I am asking the question. But it is now officially one year since I had an episode of psychosis. As such, I have ben thinking about it more frequently in the last few weeks. My thoughts are never really far away from what happened to me. But I have been thinking about my mental health a lot more, in the recent weeks.

I have been wracking my brain, trying to remember the origins of the psychotic episode. I am trying to think of more specific reasons other than 'stress', because in order to prevent relapse I want to know exactly what brought it on.

When I had my first consultation with the psychiatric doctor, my mum stated that I have never suffered from depression. At the time, I was undiagnosed. Even now I don't know what is wrong with me: I don't know if I am actually depressed or not. I feel as though, when other people are laughing, I am the only one who isn't laughing. But that is a slight digression.

On reflection, and thinking about the time that my mum said I was never depressed, I am now very confused. I had just moved back home after living with my grandad for a year, and I had tried to escape the arguments that were going on in my house. When I moved back, I remember thinking to myself that this is how it is always going to be: perpetual arguments, because my sister has anxiety and ocd. I seem to be rambling, but I guess I'm trying to understand whether or not I was depressed during this time. I didn't get a diagnosis.

I remember crying a lot. And I was also in my room a lot, on my own, because I was trying to escape the arguments. At the time, I thought I was fine, but these arguments were very frequent. Is it possible to be unaware of your depression? I want to know whether or not I actually have psychotic depression. Like I said, I always feel if I am the only one who cannot laugh. I felt the same stress one year ago...I just thought it was normal.

Now, I know that I should speak to my psychiatric doctor. And I probably will speak to her in the new year. But I just wonder if I was depressed at the time of the arguments. I think I probably was...and I think I have mild depression now. I go to sleep really early because I feel a lot of stress before I go to work. And then I get high levels of adrenaline...and I just feel really sad. Am I depressed?

Thanks for reading.

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6 Replies

  • Hope you do speak to your psychiatric doctor about all of this in the new year.

    Anxiety and depression are often quite closely linked and one can lead to the other so it wouldn't be a surprise if you were depressed as well as the anxiety.

    Your mother's statement - the way you describe it - sounded more like denial than a statement of fact.

    Try not to fret on it too much because sometimes we can go around in ever decreasing circles trying to figure out what went wrong when really we need to be focused on getting better. Do talk to your pshyciatric doctor.

  • I remember your posts around the time. They were very confusing and an obvious reflection of how difficult things were for you at the time. You seem more lucid now. It's horrible when things don't add up. In my counselling sessions she tries to help me trace back the route of my depression and identify when I first started to struggle. I hate not being able to remember specific things. I think it's definitely worth chasing up an appointment with your doctor in the new year. Start the year on a positive note x

  • Hello

    It seems that your mother is dictating what she feels is you, how can she tell someone how you are feeling ?, that seems to be very controlling and my Parents were very much the same.

    They tend to think of these problems we suffer from as a weakness, that we have no backbone.

    My father would rather keep is mouth shut in later life and say nothing and that progressed to dementia, sadly my mother and two sisters are very controlling and would attack a weakness that is all very much the same as many of us have. It made life very difficult for me to live in that environment, I have alienated myself now and never been happier.

    There is a life with depression and other mental health complaints, it is up to all of us to look for an opening so we can see the sky and our futures.

    All the best


  • hi I don't know what influence your family life will have had, but something about your post makes me think.

    You mention that for a while the stress and feeling of being distant (from laughter) had once seemed normal .

    For myself I spent so many years being depressed and mixed up that I lost sight of what was normal, only in the last two or three years after asking for help have I begun to realise how much I had lost sight of normal.

    I hope the psychiatric doctor can start to give you some answers, anyway I suppose what i am trying to say is that it's maybe a good sign that you are getting to grips with your feelings, guess it's what the professionals call self-awareness.

    Hope this.makes some kind of sense.

  • Hi

    My initial response to what you have written is that YOU are the only person who can say whether you are depressed! Your mum can say she has never noticed any signs of depression but that does not mean you have not been and are not now depressed. From your saying you are confused, it sounds as though you are confused about whether to believe someone else's view of how you are or your own. That suggests that in your past, perhaps from your earliest months of life, you have not felt understood or related to as the person you are. Sometimes parents do their best but for various reasons are unable to recognise their children as individuals and that can leave an individual prone to psychotic episodes of breakdown when under stress. It is as if the lack of real connection becomes too much to bear when stress is added and too extreme. You also say you are trying to escape from the arguments within your home and a home atmosphere of arguments can leave a child feeling confused and stressed as they are unable to find understanding and inner peace. In that situation the best thing for all concerned is that the person who has carried the burden of stress lives separately from the parents so I am glad to hear you have been able to move in with your grandparent. I hope you find that atmosphere more peaceful and can find the space to begin to think about your emotional needs and how you can get them met. You say you remember crying a lot and that suggests you were greatly affected by the atmosphere of arguments. I imagine that affected your life outside the home, for example at school and relationships with peers due to being unable to concentrate and learn the skills of socialising in a spontaneous relaxed way, you will have been preoccupied with trying to deal with the internal stress you have been left with as a result of your experiences at home. Undoubtedly if your memories are of crying a lot then yes it does sound as if you were depressed. Talking to your doctor is a good idea, but you may find that the medical model prefers to think about psychosis as a medical condition and does not fully take account of the effect of experiences upon the development of the problem. I think you would find it helpful to connect with other people who have had stressful experiences during their development and understand the connection between those experiences and psychosis. The organisation 'Hearing Voices' may be a useful link for you to make and they produce a magazine which contains the experiences of people who have experinced psychosis. Your local branch of Mind as you may also be able to meet people with experience of psychosis who have gone on to understand themselves and their histories. You may find it helpful to read psychoanalytic theories of development and how we are all left with a tendency towards various degrees of psychosis and neuroses as a result of our early experiences.


  • Dear all, I just want to say thanks so much for all of your opinions. They really do mean a lot, especially because I have been confused recently. It sometimes helps a lot to hear another person's point of view, particularly those who can maybe identify what I have been going through.

    I think my mum probably mistook a lot of my mood for personality, if that makes sense: she thought I was just very sensitive. And at the time, she had to speak on my behalf because I was unwell. I don't think she knows a lot about depression...I think I know a bit more because I have beem researching it for a while now. But you are right, she shouldn't have said a categorical 'no' because she didn't know how I was feeling.

    Sue, it would definitely help to communicate with others who have had similar experienced to me. That is a really helpful piece of advice, and I will endeavour to find my local Mind.

    Lucy, yes my posts were unintelligible at the time. I feel very embarrassed about them! I think about that a lot. And I feel very embarrassed about the whole episode. It does make me sink into deep thought. That, in turn, makes me feel sad. But yes I do feel much better now. I just want to stay well.

    But I do want to thank each one of you for replying to me. I really do appreciate it. I would buy you all Christmas presents if I could. Hope you all have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.


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