Definition of Psychosis
Psychosis and schizophrenia are characterised by transient and/or attenuated psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations and/or delusion with associated impaired functioning.
These conditions are commonly preceded by an initial period, lasting up to 12 months, in which the child or young person's behaviour and experience are altered. More subtly, you (or your child/young person) may become socially withdrawn or suspicious, with alterations in expressed feeling.
It is important to note that most children and young people with transient or attenuated psychotic symptoms do not go on to develop psychosis or schizophrenia. However, those with such symptoms do appear to be at higher risk than other children and young people of developing psychosis and schizophrenia up to 10 years after onset of symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms of Psychosis
The symptoms of psychosis are usually divided into 2 groups:
'Positive symptoms' - such as hallucinations (perception in the absence of any stimulus) and delusions (fixed or falsely held beliefs).
'Negative symptoms' - such as emotional apathy, lack of drive, poverty of speech, social withdrawal and self-neglect.
Psychosis is often triggered by other conditions such as:
Alcohol or drug misuse
Psychosis in young children is very rare and it usually occurs in the over 15s.
Treatment of Psychosis
Psychosis can be treated with medication, anti-psychotics, which can often be short term and talking therapy.
An initial 1.5 hour assessment will be required.
During this time your doctor will cover the points below:
Pharmacological treatment may be required ONLY if in agreement.
30 minute follow ups will be dependent on treatment and as and when necessary depending on severity.
If Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or family therapy is necessary a referral will be made.