Psychosis: A Symptom of Underlying Causes

Psychosis: A Symptom of Underlying Causes

Most individuals’ interpret psychosis as a scary and perplexing experience. According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, each year roughly 100,000 young people experience psychotic episodes. The prevalence in psychosis in youth may be attributed to the hormonal changes they experience. Though the cause of psychosis is still being researched, the following factors can play a role in the onset: genetics, trauma, substance use, mental health illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or depression. It is important to understand that psychosis is not an illness, but a symptom of an underlying cause, which needs to be treated.

To treat an individual struggling with psychosis, it is important to gain a level of understanding of what catalyzed the psychotic episode, to determine the right measures can be implemented to decrease the frequency and intensity of psychotic symptoms. Stabilizing emotions through the least amount of medication is the initial step in treating psychosis. Once stabilization is established, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be utilized to help the individual understand how to process reality from their intrusive thoughts. Both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs can be helpful in creating a supportive environment for the individual to learn about psychological interventions and the skill necessary to progress. While treating psychosis, family involvement often leads to a more favorable long-term prognosis. Being in a supportive environment will allow the individual to seek the right treatment program, making a world of difference on their journey to diminish psychosis.

Treating psychosis at the early stages often leads to a more positive prognosis for the client. Pinpointing the initial psychotic episode can be difficult, but understanding warning signs that correlate with psychosis is important. Warning signs include atypical thoughts that cannot be altered, extreme emotions or becoming emotionally absent, difficulty concentrating, seeing or hearing things that do not exist, deterioration of personal hygiene, or retreating from friends and family. Psychosis can present itself differently in each individual, early signs include trouble sleeping, reading or comprehending, hallucinations, delusions, or a combination of the aforementioned symptoms. The key to long term growth is dedication to the treatment regimen recommended by the licensed professional.

Written by Mashal Rezai
Intake Coordinator, Balance Treatment Center

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