University of Rochester


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Rochester, New York 14627

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Last modified: Monday, 14-Nov-2011 16:22:34 EST

University Counseling Center (UCC)

The Student in Poor Contact with Reality

These students have difficulty distinguishing fantasy from reality, the dream from the waking state. Their thinking is typically illogical, confused, or irrational; their emotional responses may be incongruent or inappropriate; and their behavior may be bizarre or disturbing. They may experience hallucinations, often auditory, and may report hearing voices. While this student may elicit alarm or fear from others, they are generally not dangerous and are more frightened and overwhelmed by you than you are by them. If you cannot make sense of their conversation, they may be in need of immediate assistance.

Bipolar disorder involved periods of serious depression combined with periods of extreme euphoria and frenzied thinking and behavior, the latter of which can reflect a poor reality. A person with bipolar disorder can become psychotic.

Psychological illnesses that involve psychotic features often have an onset between the late teens and early 30s.

What You Can Do:

Don't:

Helping Distressed or Distressing Students

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References/Credits

Complete word document:
Helping Distressed or Distressing Students