Often people are hesitant to talk about intuitive experiences and may be afraid to further explore their own intuitive gifts for fear of being labeled or actually ‘going crazy’. For these reasons I think it is important to speak to the difference between psychosis types of experiences and the intuitive .

Symptoms of psychosis based on the DSM-IV include both ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ symptoms. This does not refer to ‘good or bad’ but in the sense of symptoms where something is added to everyday experience or something is taken away.

Positive symptoms of an episode of psychosis can include delusions (paranoia, fear, fears of being watched or persecuted, etc.), hallucinations (seeing, hearings or sensing something that is not there and the quality of such hallucinations is often upsetting), disorganized speech or behaviour.

Negative symptoms can include flat affect, loss of emotional sensations and expression, thinking, loss of motivation or ability to care for one’s self. Psychosis types of experiences are often scary, frightening, have an aspect of paranoia, often cannot be confirmed or verified by others and have a significant negative impact on day to day functioning (inability to work, take care of self and function well in day to day reality).

If there is a question of psychosis type symptoms I strongly encourage seeking qualified professionally support in order to stabilize the situation and to regain control of of one’s day to day reality and feel safe in the world again. Psychosis types of experiences are an area that I would refer to other professionals who specialize in this area or at the very least insist that a client is connected with qualified support in this area first.

Intuitive development and spiritual awakening work is not something I would recommend exploring if someone was in the middle of a psychotic break type of experience. I believe that it is important for someone to be strongly grounded and well functioning in present reality, to feel safe and in control of their reality at all times before exploring intuitive dimensions of self.

Intuitive experiences involve awareness outside of normal ‘every day’ consciousness, it can be a little scary when it first happens but it is not overwhelmingly negative. It does not have a significant negative impact on day to day functioning. You can still take care of yourself and perform roles, work, interact with others, etc. Intuitive experiences can often (but not always) be confirmed by evidence/experience in the real world. Intuitive messages are often (but not always) confirmed by events, experiences or feedback from others. The connection to intuitive guidance is often a source of comfort. Intuitive experiences usually do not take over someone’s life in a negative way. You are still able to perform important roles as you had before, to take care of yourself and to function in day to day reality.

Intuitive experiences on their own are not a sign that you are “going crazy”, although it can be a question that often comes up as our sense of reality is expanded. I would strongly encourage someone going through their own spiritual awakening to connect with qualified support, including the support of someone who has also gone through a similar process to serve as a guide in navigating these new energies. The value of validation that you are not alone and confirmation of intuitive types of experiences on its own can be very reassuring and healing in itself.