Bizarre/Psychotic Behavior

Facts about Psychotic Thinking:

  • The main feature of psychotic thinking is “being out of touch with reality.”
  • Bipolar disorder involves periods of serious depression combined with periods of extreme euphoria and frenzied thinking/behavior, the latter of which can reflect a poor reality. A person with bipolar disorder can become psychotic.
  • Psychological illness that involve psychotic features often have an onset between the late teens and early 30s.
  • Symptoms include:
    • Speech that makes no sense
    • Extremely odd or eccentric behavior
    • Inappropriate or complete lack of emotion
    • Bizarre behavior that could indicate hallucinations
    • Strange beliefs that involve a serious misinterpretation of reality
    • Social withdrawal
    • Inability to connect with or track normal communication
    • Extreme or unwarranted suspicion

What You Can Do

  • Consult with a professional at Personal Counseling 401.865.2343.
  • Speak to the student in a direct and concrete manner regarding your plan for getting him/her to a safe environment.
  • Accompany the student to Personal Counseling 401.865.2343 or call Public Safety at 401.865.2222 if the student is highly impaired.
  • Recogniz​​​​e that psychotic states can involve extreme emotion or lack of emotion and intense fear to the point of paranoia.
  • Recognize that a student in this state may be dangerous to self or others.

What You Should Avoid Doing

  • Assuming the student will be able to care for him/herself.
  • Agitating the student with questions, pressure to take specific actions, etc.
  • Arguing with the students unrealistic or irrational thoughts.
  • Assuming the student understands you.
  • Allowing friends/roommates to care for that student without getting professional advice as to whether or not that plan is appropriate.
  • Getting locked into one way of dealing with the student, be prepared to adapt to the specific situation.
  • Assuming the family knows about the student’s condition.