Psychosis names states in which so-called normal or neurotypical modes of thinking, feeling, perceiving, communicating, and being a self “at home in the world” become disrupted in ways that might be experienced as frightening, painful, destabilizing, and isolating. Psychosis is sometimes, but not always, synonymous with what in nonclinical contexts would be called “madness” and sometimes, but not always, used in place of the arguably more fraught and certainly more contested “schizophrenia.” Clinically, psychosis can be acute or chronic; episodic or enduring; attributed to specific proximal stressors, injuries, or intoxicants; or regarded as arising from the complex interplay of traumatic and adverse life events, structural inequalities, underlying vulnerabilities, and biopsychosocial factors. Experientially, psychosis can be profoundly difficult to articulate and to make sense of, as Henry Gale explores in his 2013 animation “Psychosis Is Nothing like a Badger.” Within an academic context, Magi, Jones, and Kelly drily observe of psychosis that “certain modalities, experiences, versions or variants of ‘symptoms’ are regularly privileged or fetishized—and those who control these terms and constructs and their academic lives, are rarely if ever themselves mad” (2016, 148).

This essay may be found on page 171 of the printed volume.

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