‘You think you can control the weather’: David Harewood opens up about experience of psychosis

David Harewood has spoken about his experience of psychosis in a bid to raise awareness about how the mental illness impacts those who suffer from it.

The Blood Diamond actor previously opened up about going through an episode of psychosis at the age of 23 in a 2019 documentary for BBC Two, Psychosis and Me.

Psychosis is a mental health condition in which a person loses some contact with reality.

The main symptoms are hallucinations, such as when a person hears, sees, or feels things that do not exist outside of their mind but feel very real, and delusions, when people have strong beliefs that are not shared by others.

Many people experiencing hallucinations will hear voices, while those with delusions commonly believe there is a conspiracy to harm them, according to the NHS.

In an appearance on Lorraine on Wednesday (26 October) following the release of his memoir, Maybe I Don’t Belong Here, Harewood said there was a “degree of shame” attached to the diagnosis, which he described as an “extraordinary condition”.

“Most people just have psychotic episodes, and those are completely recoverable,” Harewood told viewers.

“Mine lasted about three months, but I had medication and I’ve never experienced anything like that again.”

Harewood also shared some of the symptoms he experienced.

“So, most people who suffer from psychosis, one of the attributes of the condition is hallucinations and delusions, you think you can control the weather. It really is an extraordinary condition.”

According to Mental Health First Aid England, around six per cent of the population has experienced at least one symptom of psychosis. Young people from Black and ethnic minority backgrounds are more likely to show developmental difficulties associated with psychosis.

Harewood previously spoke about some of the events that led to his diagnosis in an interview with The Independent.

In the weeks before he was sectioned, Harewood recalled hearing the voice of Martin Luther King and how a casting agent had watched him pace up and down claiming he was an alien.