Psychotic is defined as being 'of, relating to, marked by, or affected with psychosis'. Psychosis is in turn referred to as 'fundamental mental derangement (as schizophrenia) characterized by defective or lost contact with reality'. Both definitions come from Merriam-Webster's online dictionary. I don't think this does justice to the word psychotic. I am psychotic, and I think the previous entry in this node is wildly misconcieved.

Psychosis, to review broadly a diverse amount of mental health literature, is comprised of two parts:


While I do know people who have seen flying coffins and the like, my own hallucinations are no worse than the effect one gets when observing printed optical illusions. I only percieve them when looking at intricate patterns. They hinder my perception far less than the myopia for which I wear glasses.


This is the symptom that has fostered the misconception of madmen running from invisible space aliens. I have never had one and know many with psychotic illnesses who don't. In my opinion, a delusion is nothing more than a conviction that other people don't agree with. For example, I think that the proponents of trickle-down economics are delusional. It is all relative. Obviously the spectrum of belief extends far enough that some unfortunates need to be institutionalized.

If a patient can have one symptom without the other, it is possible to be psychotic without having a 'fundamental mental derangement' or a 'defective or lost contact with reality'. It has been said that a neurotic builds a castle in the clouds and the psychotic lives in it, but only fools use quotes without applying critical thought: the psychotic might just have a better view of the castle. Either way, the psychiatrist collects the rent. However, if you want to apply more critical thinking, you don't have to believe any of this. Why believe me? After all, I am psychotic. ;)

The most prevalent and widely held misconception about or wrong definition of this word is "psychotic" meaning "murderous" or "deranged and/or violent". The actual word as used by psychiatrists or anyone who knows much about mental illness does not carry any connotation of "dangerous" or "violent". This misuse of the word is seen in expressions like "psychotic killer" or something like "I might go psychotic and kill people" or similar instances. As slink says, the correct meaning of the word is free from any suggestion of evil or violence, and simply refers to disordered thought, which demonstrably does not carry any inreased likelihood of violence or evil in the sufferer. This is a very widespread misapprehension and is reinforced by trash media and films generally. I'm also psychotic sometimes but am not a sociopath.

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