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page 2. Psychosis: you should know...

What's it like to have psychosis?

one of many examples:

"It was like I was having a million thoughts all at once and yet I was so disorganized, nothing was getting done. I was frightened and anxious because I felt someone was trying to harm me. Increasingly, I spent most of my time alone in my room doing nothing. I didn't want to be bothered with friends or family. The television started having special messages meant only for me and i was hearing voices commenting on what I was doing. Looking back, I realize things just weren't making sense anymore. At the time though, it seemed normal and I didn't mention what was happening with me to anyone. Since getting treatment, I understand that I was experiencing a health problem called psychosis."


Who is most likely to experience psychosis?

Psychosis can happen to anyone. Symptoms of psychosis most often begin between 16 and 30 years of age. Both males and females can be affected. Males tend to experience symptoms a few years earlier than females. Persons with a family history of serious mental illness are at increased risk of developing psychosis.

What causes psychosis?

When psychosis occurs for the first time it is difficult to know the cause. Psychosis is associated with a number of medical conditions including schizophrenia, depression, bipolar(manic depressive) disorder, and substance abuse, among others. Because the first episode of psychosis can signal a variety of conditions, it is important to seek a thorough medical assessment.

How is psychosis treated?

Low doses of anti-psychotic medications are a key component of treatment, along with education and support for the individual and their family. Treatment strategies are aimed at allowing the individual to maintain their daily routines as much as possible. There have been tremendous advances in the treatment of psychosis during recent years, reducing the need for hospital stays and promoting faster, fuller recovery.

Typically, psychosis does not disappear on its own. Instead, if left untreated, the condition can worsen and severely disrupt the lives of individuals and families.