When you hear the phrase “psychotic break,” what comes to mind? Probably nothing good. In everyday conversation, the phrase carries a negative meaning for many because it’s perceived as a harsh and abrupt disconnect or “break” from reality—though it is more accurately described as an episode of psychosis.
Carlos Larrauri, for example, describes his experience with psychosis as more of a gradual decline, as opposed to a “break” occurring during a single event. His behavior deteriorated for a year, though he recalls warning signs as early as two to three years prior. He was in his first year of college when he noticed changes in his mental health: “I couldn’t do routine assignments,” Larrauri noted. “I stayed up all night talking to myself and had trouble concentrating.” His behavior worsened as he isolated himself, stopped showering, ate out of trashcans and picked cigarettes up off the floor.