The power and value of insight
We all know that some people with serious mental disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and Alzheimer's disease, avoid or resist treatment. One major reason for medication denial is anosognosia. It's a Greek word that means "lack of insight or awareness." The gift of insight is a powerful ability, and people usually take it for granted until they lose it.
Anosognosia is a neurological disorder where patients cannot recognize the health problems that they have. They are unaware of their mental illness. Sometimes, when people start experiencing episodes of psychosis, their symptoms seize instantly. They lose self-awareness and critical thinking. They fail to distinguish between their real life and their false reality. They don't question themselves anymore and get absorbed into a false reality. Once they come out of their false reality, they are unable to understand that their manifestation and interpretation of events were false. They even can't recognize that they are ill.
This makes them incredibly vulnerable. Their inability to understand reality or reason stops them from making appropriate choices. They feel like they are unable to protect themselves, and people do not understand them properly.
The Basics Of Anosognosia
Anosognosia is common in people going through serious mental illness (SMI). It shows their inability to understand that they are ill. That is why people with SMI don't want to take medications or receive treatment. Anosognosia is the most common symptom in people suffering from schizophrenia, affecting 50%–98% of this population. It's worth noting that anosognosia is a medical condition, not a choice. It's not an attempt to run away from the moment or an unwillingness to face reality.
Psychosis and Anosognosia
People suffering from psychotic disorders are unable to distinguish between reality and false reality. When a person diagnosed with psychosis complies with taking an antipsychotic medication, it helps them to regain their self-awareness and critical thinking. This self-awareness helps them rebuild their life skills so they can thrive independently and safely.
The best action one can take while dealing with SMI is to use self-awareness and critical thinking to seek help before one loses their insight completely. It's no less than a God's gift to sense and use your insight to seek help before your medical condition goes out of your control. The level of self-awareness varies. It allows you to acknowledge your illness at certain times but not at others. So it's vital to use your self-awareness when you have it.
What can you do to recover from psychosis?
The emotional and cognitive recovery from psychosis is a gradual one. Aside from medications and therapy, one of the most important factors that return you to your life is your inner dialogue and relationship with yourself. You need to learn the practice of self-care and acknowledge that you deserve it. Always remind yourself that you love yourself enough to take preventative action. This dialogue with yourself helps you restore self-awareness and makes you feel complete and free again.
Always try to push yourself forward and never look back. Try to accept and understand that you will always have to be careful. Even after your complete cognitive recovery, always try to consider yourself free from mental illness. Thrive in an unexpected and desirable way, but still, be careful and aware. You will have to be discerning to avoid acute illness. If you aren't aware and careful, you can jeopardize everything that you have built for yourself in your life, including your career, your family, and your marriage.
The value of personal insight is like salvation. You should not take it for granted. Your self-awareness and critical thinking protect you. If you recover completely from psychosis with the help of personal insight, it means you have a second and new life. So use your self-awareness to protect and preserve the new life that you have.