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David Harewood MBE

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David Harewood MBE is an actor, director, author and activist. David has become a driving force for systematic and cultural change. From his documentary ‘David Harewood: Psychosis ...

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What caused your psychosis?

My psychosis was caused by a factor of different things, suppressed things that I had in my youth, a loss of identity. I would say I consumed a fair amount of marijuana. I was under a lot of stress. So it's a combination of different factors that altogether undermined me and created, led to me losing my mind, which apparently is called psychosis.

What did it feel like to have psychosis?

Having psychosis is a very, very bizarre condition. I would say initially it was quite good fun because your brain is rushing and you have a lot of dopamine rushing through your brain, and dopamine is a drug that is naturally created in the body, but if there's too much dopamine, you get natural highs. So I was having lots of natural highs where I was initially quite manic, staying awake, had lots of ideas, lots of chatting, and it does initially feel fun, but that is very quickly followed by the downside, which was a loss of consciousness hours, lost hours where you don't remember anything, and then finally losing control when you are hearing voices suffering, delusions, and really not knowing what is real and what isn't.

How did it feel when you were diagnosed?

Well, I didn't really know I was diagnosed with psychosis. People who are diagnosed with psychosis by the time they're diagnosed with it are probably too far gone where you have lost control of your thinking, lost control of your own thoughts. And I was already sort of in hospital when I was diagnosed with psychosis, so I didn't know I had psychosis. And that's the dangerous thing about psychosis is it creeps up on you and you don't really know you have it until you are almost too far gone.

What is psychosis?

How long did your psychosis episode last?