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Reality Star Kendra Wilkinson Went Through Psychosis—Here’s What That Means

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Kendra Wilkinson Shares Her Depression, PsychosisVictoria Sirakova - Getty Images

Reality star Kendra Wilkinson revealed that she recently experienced a private battle with depression and psychosis in an emotional interview with People.

Kendra, 38, told the outlet that she was hospitalized in September after suffering a panic attack. “I was dying of depression,” she said. “I was hitting the end of my life, and I went into psychosis. I felt like I wasn’t strong enough to live anymore.”

She went back to the hospital a week later and was placed on an antipsychotic medication.

Kendra first became famous in the mid-2000s for being one of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner’s girlfriends and for starring on the reality show, The Girls Next Door. Since then, Kendra has had two children and appeared on a slew of other reality shows.

In the interview, Kendra said that she suffered unresolved trauma from her 2019 divorce from her husband, former NFL player, Hank Baskett, and from her time living in Hefner’s mansion. "Playboy really messed my whole life up,” she said.

“I would never go out of my way to kill myself, but I was just like, ‘God, take me. God, take me,’” Kendra told the outlet. “To accept medication was the hardest thing to do. It meant I had to accept that I have some mental illness, and I didn't want to have to do that.”

Since then, Kendra has done outpatient therapy and says she’s working through her depression.

Depression is something that doesn't just go away. It's something that stays with you through life. You just have to learn to work with it and accept it,” she said. “And it's a part of me. What therapy did was that it built this tool system for me. So now I have the strength—I have the strength and the foundation I need to overcome my depression.”

If you have questions about what psychosis is and how it's treated, you're not alone. Here’s what you need to know.

What is psychosis?

Psychosis is a collection of symptoms that impact the mind, where someone has a loss of contact with reality, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). When someone has a psychosis episode, they can have trouble recognizing what’s real and what’s not.

What can trigger psychosis?

There are multiple potential causes of psychosis, which tends to happen as a result of genetic risk, differences in brain development, and exposure to stressors or trauma, NIMH says. Psychosis can be a symptom of a mental illness, like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or severe depression, but someone can experience psychosis and never be diagnosed with a mental health disorder.

Psychosis can also be triggered by sleep deprivation, certain prescription medications, and the misuse of alcohol or drugs, NIMH says.

What happens when someone has psychosis?

There are two major types of psychosis, according to the Cleveland Clinic: hallucinations and delusions.

Hallucinations occur when parts of your brain mistakenly pick up on something in the environment that isn’t actually happening, like hearing voices that aren’t there.

Delusions are false beliefs that someone holds onto very strongly, even when there is evidence that the belief isn’t true, the Cleveland Clinic says.

How common is it?

Psychosis occurs in between 15 to 100 people out of 100,000 each year, NIMH says.

How do you treat psychosis?

Psychosis is treated with medications like antipsychotic drugs, antidepressants, or lithium, the Cleveland Clinic says. Patients may also undergo cognitive behavioral therapy, inpatient treatment (in severe cases of psychosis), and support programs.

What are the three stages of psychosis?

Psychosis is usually broken into three stages, according to Yale Medicine: the prodrome, acute phase, and recovery.

During the prodrome, someone may have trouble concentrating, feel depressed and anxious, and withdraw socially, Yale Medicine says. During the acute phase, a person may have hallucinations, delusions, or confused thinking, and feel extremely distressed. And with effective treatment, most people enter the recovery stage of psychosis, and never have another episode, Yale Medicine says.

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