Facts About Psychosis
- Psychosis affects a significant number of individuals in our community. If we consider all psychotic disorders together, around 3% of people will experience a psychotic episode at some time in their life and 1% will be diagnosed with schizophrenia.
- The earlier treatment is obtained, the more likely there will be a good outcome and positive future.
- The average duration of the Clinical High Risk (CHR) phase – when young people are first having symptoms prior to a First Episode – is 2 years, with a range of 1-5 years.
- Half of the disability associated with psychosis occurs during the CHR phase. Early intervention reduces the impact.
- About 33% of CHR youth will have a First Episode of Psychosis within 2 years. Treatment in the CHR phase can reduce this risk to less than 10%
- Usually a First Episode of Psychosis (FEP) occurs in adolescence or early adult life, an important time for the development of identity, relationships and long-term vocational plans.
- 3 out of 4 people who have an FEP will go on to have another episode at some time in their life, usually within a year or two of their First Episode.
- Experiencing psychotic symptoms
- Greatly increases the likelihood of becoming depressed and anxious - sometimes severely so.
- Puts one at greater risk of abusing alcohol and/or other drugs. Sometimes people use these substances to try to feel better, or in an attempt to block distressing symptoms.
- Can put great strain on family relationships and friendships. The earlier help is sought and the psychotic symptoms are brought under control, the less disruption that will occur to important relationships.
- Has a negative impact on the ability to function well at work or study. This puts people at risk of losing a job or of performing badly in school.
- Failure to seek intervention at an early stage can lead to unnecessary hospitalization because symptoms become more severe and difficult as time progresses.
- Psychotic symptoms that are left untreated also result in lower self-esteem and a loss of confidence.
- Treatment early after the First Episode hastens recovery and supports a return to a job, school, or other everyday activities.
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