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27 July, 2017

Psychosis: a mental health difficulty that is often misunderstood

St Patrick’s Mental Health Services launches next stage of #StillJustMe campaign aimed at removing the stigma associated with psychosis.

How loved ones react when they are told by a young person that they are hearing voices or struggling with paranoia can make a difference” - Dr. Edel Crehan, Clinical Lead,  Living Through Psychosis Programme at St.Patrick’s Mental Health Services. 

Psychosis is a mental health difficulty that is often misunderstood, but St Patrick’s Mental Health Services is trying to shine a light on the condition through the latest stage in their #StillJustMe campaign. 

Through a series of short films and blog articles written by mental health experts and those with real-life experience, #StillJustMe aims to shine a spotlight on some of the most poorly understood and stigmatised mental health difficulties in Ireland today. 

The latest stage of #StillJustMe is designed to help those who may be struggling with psychosis and it should also give those close to people who are experiencing this an idea of the difficulties their loved ones are encountering.  

Psychosis is a condition of fear. For some it starts with a feeling of sensory overload. For others, the mind becomes an unsafe place where everyday worries become plausible fears. 

Dr. Edel Crehan, the clinical lead on the Living Through Psychosis programme at St.Patrick’s Mental Health Services, discussed the relationship between psychosis and stigma, stating: “Getting the best help available for a loved one often doesn’t happen or is delayed because of deep feelings of shame. Those experiencing the difficulty want to hide it.”

“Research is now showing that how loved ones react when they are told by a young person that they are hearing voices or struggling with paranoia can make a difference. Showing curiosity and listening is the best approach.”

You can view the short film and blogs on the Walk In My Shoes website.

Considering that over 70 per cent of respondents to SPMHS annual survey think that being treated for a mental health problem is still seen as a sign of personal failure in Ireland, it is essential that we all do our upmost in erasing the stigma surrounding mental health difficulties, including psychosis. 

This is the fourth stage of the #StillJustMe campaign, with previous stages focussing on eating disorders, depression and anxiety. 

Details and videos from all stages can be viewed on our awareness and education campaign's website, Walk In My Shoes