We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I have argued for years that "reality-testing," which is the measure of psychosis from any cause, is a spectrum and not binary. Reality-testing has many grey areas. I have even argued that imperfect reality-testing in some areas is a normal part of human mental life.
Most areas of mental life are far too complex to be reduced to black-and-white distinctions. I am pleased to see that others are talking about it. For example, Viewing Psychosis as a Spectrum.
I like to say that may be for you. But my job is to try and determine what reality is rather than fall victim to my perceptions of reality.
For example, I can believe that someone really likes me here at the office, because they are nice to me and always have good things to say about me, even through the grapevine. But if I see that same person treating others poorly and, by their actions, notice they are doing things (like taking credit for my work) which aren't exactly 'nice', then I need to rethink my view of them.
A person I worked with really liked one manager she worked for. He was always complimenting her, giving her good reviews, etc. She fell for it hook, line and sinker. One night, over drinks, as she was talking about how great that manager was, the rest of us simply asked "haven't you seen how he treats everyone else? At what point does the way he treat you become a singular thing? When do you recognize that he's not a very good manager except to you?"
We all have some level of psychosis. I agree that it's a question of what part of the spectrum we are on.
My therapist, after meeting with me three times, said "I think, technically, you could be classified as being on the spectrum of autism."
I replied, "I have four nephews on the spectrum, and I've always felt I've got a touch of Aspberger's. So it would be perfectly fine if that's how you want to classify me."
She said, "But if you understand that and are working on the areas where you know you have issues, then I can't really put you on the spectrum."
I just said it's up to her. Made absolutely no difference for me. She didn't tell me anything I didn't already know. Still hasn't.
I'll take your word/her word for it that it is more common to view psychosis as a binary. However, here at the state psychaitric facility for the last 4 decades, that hasn't been my experience at all. We regularly talk about someone having "impaired" reality testing, or being "a little" psychotic, etc.
An additional key is whether any new psychotic material is being added in. We have many people who believe that "once in a while," the government tries to spy on them, but it's not happening now. They do not connect that those episodes were their times off medication, they just remember them as something that really happened a few years ago.
Similarly, some people still hear voices but they get softer and softer under treatment, and so can be ignored.
Assistant Village Idiot
In Lives Across Time, the thirty year study from birth of 76 babies (by Massie and Szajnberg), the authors report on this range of reality testing and various degrees of impairment. There was extraordinary distortion of judging external reality (including diminishing and excusing the severe physical abuse by father in childhood) by several.