That is to say, I take it as a fact that for a vast majority psychosis is far from benign, and involves tremendous amounts of suffering, fear etc.
This, it seems to me, has to do with the contents of our voices and delusions. Common themes are threats, persecution, conspiracies against us. It is obvious that such experiences makes one anxious and afraid… Or maybe it is the other way around, that our fear and anxiety influences the contents of our delusions and hallucinations. I take it that this is pretty much the common experience of psychosis: scary as ■■■■ and certainly not benign.
I wonder at times though why all this psychotic material needs to be this negative? I realize that studies concerning psychosis are also subject to trends, and it is currently slightly out of fashion to try and make something of the contents of psychosis. It is something that fascinates me though: why would my voices say this rather than that… My voices were friendly at times, but only temporarily and they would turn evil quickly. Felt like I was being deceived by them when they were friendly.
Yet, a hallucination need not be evil necessarily, I would think. There are people who hear voices that merely chatter away without showing any harmful ‘intent’. Some would feel as if they actually help them. I am not sure whether these people would qualify for a schizophrenia diagnosis. Some may have sort of delusional beliefs to account for the voices, that these voices are guiding angels, or passed away loved ones, helping them or just accompanying them. And these people may experience and believe these things for quite some time as well. As such, it seems they could qualify for the sz criteria of the dsm. Yet for such people their experiences do not affect everyday life as much as it does for us with schizophrenia. When symptoms are benign, it seems fair to think one simply does not come to enter the mental health system. These people’s experiences and beliefs seem not to harm or impair their functioning, and as such, it could be said they do not really have a problem to be solved by psychiatry. So is one’s functionality a criterion for having schizophrenia? That our symptoms impair our everyday functioning? I don’t think I saw that in the DSM.