Maintaing a sound level of mental and emotional patient health
Written by Jane Miller
Psychosis is a dangerous symptom that may indicate a serious mental disease. The signs of psychosis are often subtle, particularly in the early stages. If you think that you notice these indicators in yourself or someone you know, it’s important to make a note of them and act appropriately as soon as possible.
Withdrawal from everyday activities and social situations is one of the early signs of psychosis. People often stop attending social events, preferring to seclude themselves. They may also withdraw from school and work, in some cases failing to show up entirely.
In teenagers, a sudden and inexplicable decline in grades and extracurricular participation is a major warning sign. Adults may act strangely at work with a distinct change in performance. Though these signs don't always indicate psychosis, you shouldn’t ignore them. They may also indicate depression or another problem.
The early stages of psychosis may result in a marked change in the person’s appearance. He or she may begin to neglect personal hygiene, appearing disheveled and poorly groomed. Loss of appetite is another early warning sign. This could result in unexplained weight loss. The person may also appear tired, as sleep disturbances are another common warning sign of psychosis.
If an otherwise well-groomed person suddenly stops taking care of himself or herself, you should take note of this behavior and consider it a major warning sign of some kind of problem.
In addition to social withdrawal, you may notice other behavioral changes that can indicate early psychosis. Someone who is developing psychosis may seem paranoid, suspicious, and nervous. They often experience problems handling stress. They may appear depressed or express emotions much less than usual. In fact, the person may find that he or she has no feelings at all. This sudden blankness is a major symptom of developing psychosis. Difficulty concentrating or performing basic tasks is another significant warning sign.
Someone with psychosis will often experience delusions. They may claim to see, hear, or smell things that you can't. Another sign of psychosis is a belief in things that are untrue. For example, someone with psychosis may think that they’re being followed. Psychotic delusions are often very paranoid, and may involve the idea that others can hear the person’s thoughts or always see the person’s actions.
Someone with psychosis may make up entirely new words and speak in what seems like gibberish. He or she will experience new ideas with unusual fervor. These strange ideas will often seem impossible to a rational individual, but the person with psychosis will remain steadfastly convinced of their reality. One of the defining signs of psychosis is that the person won't change his or her thinking even when presented with evidence to the contrary.
Many warning signs of psychosis are only recognizable to the person who is experiencing them. If you’re developing psychosis, you may begin to hear voices or see things that others can’t hear and see. Sounds may seem louder than usual. The world around you could suddenly change, with brighter colors and confusing new ideas and meanings occurring in everyday places. Your thoughts may suddenly seem very disorganized. You may have trouble focusing on them or making sense of them. Everyday activities could suddenly seem very difficult.
If you or someone you know is exhibiting signs of psychosis, it’s important to get professional help. Psychosis can become very severe if left untreated, even prompting suicide. Psychosis isn't itself a diagnosis, but rather a symptom of a deeper problem. Psychosis often indicates a condition such as bi-polar disorder or schizophrenia.
A doctor can help you control this symptom with medications, such as quetiapine. If you're prescribed this medication, it’s important to buy quetiapine well ahead of the time you'll need it to make sure that you never run out.
Pay close attention to strange behaviors in those around you and seek help any time you see something suspicious. Your assistance could help save someone’s life.
Jane Miller is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything from tech to mommy stuff. She is featured in many blogs as a guest writer, and can write with authority on any niche or subject.