psychosis Symptoms

Recognizing the early symptoms of psychosis is the first step in understanding the occurrence of this mental health disorder. A psychotic episode tends to have a profound effect on both the experiencer and the bystander.

psychosis Symptoms

It is often difficult to understand what is happening; it's like "something clicked out of place", as some say. In any case, psychosis is a disease that affects the brain and how it functions. Thus, it leads to situations where a person's behavior can be unpredictable. To prevent stigma, we need to learn to understand this disease better.

What is psychosis?

Psychosis refers to a mental illness that tends to manifest itself in many different ways. However, its most recognizable characteristic is the loss of the sense of reality.  It is estimated that the first symptoms usually appear at the age of 20-30.

However, 20–40% of patients develop clinical symptoms before the age of 20 years. In terms of etiology, psychosis is multifactorial. Its occurrence is influenced by many factors (genetic, biological, susceptibility to stress, environment, etc.)

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The genetic component plays an important role, although it alone is not sufficient for the onset of the disease. This mental health problem is a combination of all the factors mentioned above, which predispose to a greater or lesser extent to the occurrence of a psychotic episode.

psychosis Symptoms

In general, a psychotic episode progresses as follows:

  • An episode with prodromal symptoms. These are often unclear or vague. For this reason, it is often difficult to detect them if there is no information on the subject. Either way, they serve as an early warning sign.
  • Acute phase. The symptoms are clear; hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized thinking are likely to be present.
  • Remission phase. This means gradual disappearance of symptoms and recovery.

Early symptoms of psychosis

Knowing the early symptoms of psychosis is very important for patients and the people around them. These manifestations often develop over time, and many can be treated.

psychosis Symptoms

Other signs of this mental health problem include:

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  • Mood changes persist over time. (This is not just a "bad day".
  • Nervousness and anxiety.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Sleep disorders.
  • Incoherent speech.
  • Difficulty starting or continuing a task and a general lack of motivation.
  • Changes in the course of thought. (Among others, the difficulty in understanding what is happening and the inability to distinguish reality from unreality.)
  • Hallucinations. (This refers to the person having the perception that something is there when it is not.
  • Delusions. (This refers to the belief that something is happening and is real. For example, a person may believe they are being stalked or stared at.)

Different approaches to the treatment of psychosis

For the correct treatment of psychosis, it is important to keep a few basic things in mind. The following recommendations stand out among them:

  • It should be approached interdisciplinary. In other words, monitoring should be the task of different healthcare professionals. From psychiatrists and psychologists to nursing staff, therapeutic professionals, and others necessary.
  • It is important to strengthen the context and circle of relationships of the patient suffering from the symptoms of psychosis.
  • Continuous pharmacological treatment. It is important that the patient strictly adheres to the prescribed medication, as it promotes both healing and prevention of recurrence. The use of stimulants, drugs, and alcohol is not recommended
  • Working on social and emotional skills. In this way, the person is able to develop resources for expressing emotions and facing conflicts.
  • Promotion of social support and integration. It is necessary that the person is part of the community, and that he can continue his studies or engage in some activity even after the diagnosis. Routines that bring some predictability to his daily life work very well for this condition.

Work on psychoeducation

We need to know more about this disease because it affects not only the patient but also his loved ones. In the case of most exacerbations, situations related to stress and emotional and mood disorders have been identified.

Feelings of collapse and overload have been observed in the patient, which leads to decreased consciousness, behavioral changes, and affective inhibitions.

If people are taught to notice such signs, the problem can be addressed in time. The disease picture includes worsening phases, which also affect the improvement of family members' trust and the patient's recovery.

Education about the early symptoms of psychosis is key

First, psychoeducation about the early symptoms of psychosis allows both patients and their families and loved ones to acquire adequate resources to cope with this mental disorder. This plays an essential role in treatment adherence and relapse prevention.

It often happens that mental illnesses are seen as a list of symptoms. But it is worth remembering that every disease has different forms of expression depending on the patient, apart from "general" symptoms.

The ability to recognize warning signs and know how to produce concrete instructions is essential to reduce risks. In this sense, it is also of paramount importance to understand the stages of development of the disease, so that the patient or his next of kin are encouraged to seek help.

Psychoeducation should also focus on taking care of the well-being of family caregivers. It means giving them the opportunity to ask for help, share tasks and provide resources to help them learn how to deal with difficult situations. This is very important because – as with any illness – there is a high risk of caregiver burnout.

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