What It Really Means To Have Psychosis As A Result Of Mental Health Issues

Of all the celebrities out there, Selena Gomez has been one of just a handful of them who has, again and again, been honest about her physical and mental health issues. Not only has the actor talked about her struggles with bipolar disorder, but she recently admitted to experiencing psychosis too.


"I think when I started hitting my early twenties is when it started to get really dark, when I started to feel like I was not in control of what I was feeling, whether that was really great or really bad," Gomez told Rolling Stone in a recent interview.

Although most of us are familiar with the term psychosis, not everyone knows what it means. As Cleveland Clinic points out, the word psychosis is often used incorrectly as a sort of stand-in for all different types of mental disorders. However, psychosis is a specific collection of symptoms that can be triggered by physical or emotional trauma or even types of medication.

Now that Gomez has bravely put a face to psychosis, here's what psychosis looks like.


If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Symptoms of psychosis

First of all, psychosis is not the same as psychopath in any way. Sometimes when people hear the "psycho" part, they lump the two together, especially since they both involve being detached from reality. However, a psychopath lacks empathy and is callous, cruel, and manipulative. Psychosis is completely different.


Psychosis is a collection of symptoms that include hallucinations, paranoia, delusions, and a complete break from reality. Those who experience psychosis often see, smell, and even feel things that aren't there. Emotions can be intense or non-existent, behavior and speech can be erratic, communication and concentration diminish, and due to the nature of the symptoms, those who are in psychosis often pull away from friends and family, and hygiene is no longer of importance (via Healthline). It's terrifying for both the person experiencing it as well as their loved ones, but perhaps it's even more difficult for the loved ones to watch. At least the person who's in the throes of psychosis is detached so much from reality that they don't really know what's going on with them.


According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, roughly three in every 100 people will experience a psychosis episode at some point in their lives, and as many as 100,000 young people experience it every year.

Treatment for psychosis

Like a lot of mental health issues, psychosis can be treated with a combination of medication and therapy — specifically antipsychotic drugs and cognitive behavioral therapy (via Medical News Today). It's also important to catch the psychosis early on so treatment and management of it can begin as soon as possible before the person who has it spirals into further darkness. Even though you can reach the maintenance phase of psychosis, it doesn't mean it won't happen again at some point in the future. But staying on top of it and being aware of the early symptoms can help you get ahead of it.


Anyone who comes forward about their mental illness should be applauded. In a world where there's still such an unhealthy stigma attached to mental illness, Selena Gomez isn't just brave, but she's making everyone who suffers from these types of illnesses feel less alone. Her documentary, "Selena Gomez: My Mind and Me," is out now, and even if you're not a fan of hers, if you've ever felt misunderstood in your own struggles with mental illness, it's definitely worth a watch.