Specialty Care for First Episode Psychosis
Most people think of psychosis as a break with reality. In a way it is. Psychosis is characterized as disruptions to a person’s thoughts and perceptions that make it difficult for them to recognize what is real and what isn’t. These disruptions are often experienced as seeing, hearing and believing things that aren’t real or having strange, persistent thoughts, behaviors and emotions. While everyone’s experience is different, most people say psychosis is frightening and confusing.
Psychosis is a symptom, not an illness, and it is more common than you may think. In the U.S., approximately 100,000 young people experience psychosis each year. As many as 3 in 100 people will have an episode at some point in their lives.
Early or first-episode psychosis (FEP) refers to when a person first shows signs of beginning to lose contact with reality. Acting quickly to connect a person with the right treatment during early psychosis or FEP can be life-changing and radically alter that person’s future. In fact, a national research study discovered that when treated within the first three months of occurring, people did much better and were able to return to normal life, as opposed to those who went longer without treatment.
Families are often the first to see early signs of psychosis and the first to address the issue of seeking treatment. Early warning signs include the following:
- A worrisome drop in grades or job performance
- Trouble thinking clearly or concentrating
- Suspiciousness or uneasiness with others
- A decline in self-care or personal hygiene
- Spending a lot more time alone than usual
- Strong, inappropriate emotions or having no feelings at all
Coordinated Specialty Care
Research has shown significant success using a treatment approach called Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC). CSC uses a team of health professionals and specialists who work with a person to create a personal treatment plan based on life goals while involving family members as much as possible. CSC has the following key components:
- Case management
- Family support and education
- Medication management
- Supported education and employment
- Peer support
Don’t wait to take the first step. Contact us today at (603) 889-6147. If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health emergency, call our 24/7 Emergency Services line at 1-800-762-8191.