We all need an escape from reality now and then, whether that’s a relaxing vacation or a great book.
Psychosis, however, refers to a loss of contact with reality. It may mean seeing or hearing things that aren’t there. A person may have trouble knowing what is real and what isn’t. Certain mental disorders and drug abuse could cause psychosis.
The good news: effective treatments for psychosis are available. The earlier treatment begins, thebetter a person’s outlook.
Know the warning signs
Key symptoms of psychosis include:
Delusions: False beliefs, such as thinking that someone is out to hurt them.
Hallucinations: Seeing or hearing things that aren’t there, such as voices when no one is speaking.
Often, a person’s behavior will begin to change before psychosis occurs. Examples of possiblewarning signs include a sudden drop in school or work performance, withdrawal from friends orfamily or no longer maintaining personal hygiene.
A team approach to psychosis treatment
If you notice signs of psychosis in a loved one, seek help as soon as possible. Studies suggest that coordinated specialty care can help people with early psychosis have a better recovery. This type of care may involve individual or group psychotherapy, family support and education, medication management, practical problem-solving help from a case manager and supported employment and education services.