Psychosis (young people)

Max

Male
Age at interview: 19
Age at diagnosis: 16

Brief outline: Max was diagnosed with schizophrenia and was in hospital for over a year.

Background: Max is single and is mixed race.

Audio & video

While in hospital Max experienced difficult delusions about one of the staff there. His thoughts were very disordered and he became confused when staff used two names to refer to a member of staff who spent a lot of time with him – her full name and her nickname. Max imagined that they were referring to two different people, and imagined one of the names referred to the staff member’s father. He believed that the staff member and her father were making him unwell. He felt he had no control over what was happening. 

Acting out of fear, he lost control and clearly remembers “going after” the member of staff. He was quickly surrounded by other staff who pulled him away and put him in a de-escalation room. Although the member of staff was not hurt, he thinks his actions “shocked” her and he realised what he had done and “hated” himself. He tried to punch himself because what he was done was the opposite to his normal behaviour. 

He thinks this isn’t uncommon. He remembers a friend of his, who was mentally ill and had visual hallucinations, hitting him because she thought he was someone else. Once she realised what she had done she hid because she felt guilty about what she had done. He thinks that you have to be understanding with people who have psychosis. 

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