Part of the difficulty that comes with facing psychosis is not knowing when life will feel “normal” again. You might wonder if you’ll always having moments where your reality shifts and if your voices will stay with you or fade over time.
Psychology Today wondered the same thing this month, asking “Who Recovers from Psychosis? Is it Luck or Something else?” in an article by Sarah Myers.
As it turns out, overcoming psychosis can be possible, but it’s dependent on a number of factors.
“A comprehensive study published earlier this year in Schizophrenia Bulletin followed up with 243 patients over a 20-year period exhibiting a disorder with psychotic symptoms including schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, schizophreniform disorder, and bipolar disorder with psychotic symptoms,” Myers wrote. “Researchers assessed three definitions of recovery: symptomatic, functional, and personal. Symptomatic recovery indicated reduced symptoms overall, while functional recovery described the quality to which an individual can participate in daily life uninterrupted by their disorder. Personal recovery referred to the ability to forge one’s own identity, find meaning in life, have a sense of purpose, and take responsibility for their recovery and disorder.”
In other words, the definition of recovery from psychosis is a complex one. Furthermore, the study found that not everyone experienced all three factors and not all at the same time. Just 32.5 percent of patients were able to say they were seeing improvement in all three ways – symptomatic, functional, and personal.
And luck, as it turns out, has little do with achieving that recovery.
“Notable significant predictors that determined who exactly recovered from psychosis across all three domains included parental socioeconomic status, family history of a schizophrenic spectrum disorder, childhood adversity, developmental delay at age 3, and completion of high school,” the article continued.
That’s not to say that having money and no history of trauma are all you need to recover (shouldn’t we all be so lucky?!), but instead that the definition of recovery goes back to what we all ultimately need to be successful humans.
“If you have housing, a community where you feel like you belong and contribute to daily life, and a sense of hope and purpose, you’re more likely to recover,” Myers wrote.