Psychosis [sei-ko-sis]

A serious mental disorder, accompanied by physical changes in the brain and an excess sensitivity to stimuli or stress, resulting in a loss of contact with the real world and an increasing incapability to cope with life. While psychosis can not be cured, it is possible to treat it effectively.

A majority of people with psychosis can get on with life helped by medicines, psychotherapy, social support en psycho-education. However, it is a shame and a pity that people with psychosis and their families suffer from unjust stigmatisation, which makes treatment and resocialisation even more difficult

A self-help guide for people suffering from psychosis (2000):

A persuasively designed paperback comic written specifically with psychotic patients in mind. It contains a light-hearted mix of informational copy and true-to-life comic in which people suffering from psychosis can learn more about their disease, its treatment and prognosis. At the same time it appeals to family and friends of psychotic patients who will find it a useful introduction to a strange and often bewildering disease.

The book was a logical extension to our earlier work. In Dichtbij, en toch veraf (So close, still so distant) we wrote a book to support family and partners of patients with psychosis, giving valuable information on the disease, its backgrounds, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, legal matters and other key issues in living with somebody with this disastrous disease.

The secret of the brain chip addressed the patients themselves. Clinical evidence had shown that psycho-education can play an important role in supporting patients, making them less vulnerable and more self supporting. This comic book with all the essential information presented in a low threshold manner can play a key role in efforts to educate people about their illness.

No wonder, one of its main themes is the debunking of old but stubborn myths about psychosis. This book makes it clear that people with psychosis are not violent or lazy, that they do not have a split personality, that they can improve by taking the right medication and getting proper therapeutic treatment and support, that their behaviour is not the result of a wrong upbringing.

The comic was originally written in Dutch, French and English. A dedicated UK version is in preparation, as are German, Japanese and Spanish translations.

The comic was one of the awarded projects of the nation-wide campaign '2001 year of mental health' in Belgium.