What is Psychotic?
“Another gap that is blatant is the diagnosis of being psychotic and knowing right from wrong during the commission of a crime. This distinction is important because the court system defines legal insanity as essentially not knowing right from wrong while in the commission of a crime. Sounds simple enough, right? However the psychological community can consider you insane or suffering from mental illness as an ongoing process where the individual can dip in and out of sickness. This is particularly important when defining what being psychotic means.
When you talk about being psychotic, you are talking about a person that is totally misinterpreting their environment. The information coming into the brain is not processed correctly. They can hear things but what they are hearing is in a fashion that is not consistent with what is actually happening around them. Then, once the information has been internalized they react to it in an inappropriate way.
Most of the time a person with a condition will dip in and out of a state of psychosis. This is something that the psychiatric community can observe by watching a patient and then with time apply the appropriate treatment. Assuming the insurance doesn’t run out and\or the patient’s family has the resources for treatment.
The problem, this is the best and rarest of scenarios. Compounding the issue is the disjointed definition of what insanity is. As previously mentioned, the psychiatric community needs time to observe and then make a diagnosis, knowing there are certain types of mental illness that may come in a flash and then the person may seem sane for long periods of time; essentially listing between sane and insane. The legal community asks, was the person sane at the time of their crime. This assumes that a person that commits a crime has access to a mental health professional almost immediately after apprehension. That alone makes the definition impractical at best, and in practice it makes it even worse.
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