Early intervention in psychosis

Early intervention in psychosis (EIP) is a proactive strategy that aims to recognize and treat people who are experiencing the early stages of psychotic diseases like schizophrenia. To enhance long-term results, this approach emphasizes early discovery, timely treatment, and continuing support.

What is psychosis?

The way your brain processes information is affected by psychosis. It makes you detached from reality. It’s possible for you to see, hear, or believe unreal things. Psychosis is not a disease; it is a symptom. It can be brought on by severe stress or trauma, substance misuse, physical ailments or injuries, or mental illnesses.

Early intervention in psychosis

Similar to schizophrenia, psychotic diseases include psychosis, which typically strikes for the first time in late adolescence or early adulthood. Before what medical professionals refer to as the first episode of psychosis (FEP), you might exhibit minor behavioral or cognitive changes. The prodromal phase may extend over a few days, weeks, months, or even years.

Signs and symptoms of psychosis

Warning signs may surface prior to the onset of psychosis. These may consist of:

  • a sharp decline in academic or professional performance
  • trouble focusing,
  • thinking clearly,
  • feeling distrustful of or anxious about other people,
  • withdrawing from friends and family
  • an increase in unfamiliar or unusual emotions, or none at all;
  • a lack of interest in personal hygiene;
  • trouble telling reality from non-reality;
  • communication difficulties

When someone goes through a psychotic episode, the primary signs and symptoms are:

  • delusions
  • illusions
  • Disorganized conduct, defined as impetuous or nonsensical behavior
  • Negative signs, such as appearing emotionless, losing interest in past hobbies, looking disheveled, etc.
  • catatonia, or appearing “frozen”

Causes of psychosis

One prevalent sign of many mental health issues is psychosis. These diseases are covered in detail in a separate category in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) published by the American Psychiatric Association.

Early intervention in psychosis

The following conditions fall under the heading “Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders”:

  • Mental illness.
  • Transient psychotic illness.
  • Disorder of delusions.
  • Disorder schizoaffective.
  • Schizophrenia-like illness.
  • Dysfunction of the schizotypal (personality).
  • Drug- or substance-induced psychotic illness.
  • Psychotic disorder brought on by an underlying medical illness.

Psychosis is also a possible outcome of some mental disorders. These consist of:

  • Bipolar illness.
  • Severe depression and associated disorders.

Illnesses that have the potential to produce psychosis

Numerous more disorders affecting the brain and body can potentially induce psychosis. Among them are:

  • Dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease and others.
  • Disorders connected to hormones, such as Addison’s and Cushing’s diseases, as well as hyper- or hypoactive thyroid function.
  • Infections that affect your spinal cord or brain (meningitis or encephalitis).
  • Lupus disease.
  • Lyme illness.
  • Sclerosis multiplex.
  • A rare, serious mental health emergency associated with postpartum depression is postpartum psychosis.
  • Stroke as well as many neurological (brain-related) disorders.
  • Deficiencies in vitamin B12 and vitamin B1 (thiamine).

Benefits of early intervention in psychosis

The goal of early psychosis intervention is to maximize recovery while minimizing the detrimental effects that psychosis may have on a person’s life. Scientific proof of the efficacy of a wide range of specialized early psychosis treatments and services has led to their development. These programs and therapies seek to:

Early intervention in psychosis
  • Treat psychosis as soon as possible to minimize the amount of time it goes untreated.
  • Reduce the pain and detrimental impacts of psychotic symptoms
  • Encourage a speedy healing
  • Provide the young person with age-appropriate supports so that their life is not disrupted as much and they may more successfully navigate the obstacles of youth and young adulthood.
  • Encourage people to pursue their educational, professional, and societal objectives
  • Reduce the harmful effects of psychosis on families and interact with them during the therapeutic process to attain the best immediate and long-term results.
  • Reduced likelihood of relapsing and requiring hospitalization
  • Maintain and improve psychological abilities, as well as social and familial support
  • Diminish related issues including substance abuse and depression
  • Encourage self-determination, healing, stability, and personal fulfillment

Psychosis treatment

The underlying etiology of psychosis largely determines how it is treated. Treating the underlying problem is frequently all that is required in those situations.

There are various methods for treating psychosis that requires in-person care.


Antipsychotic drugs are used to treat the symptoms of psychosis. They improve clarity of thought and lessen delusions and hallucinations. Depending on the symptoms, a doctor will prescribe a different kind of antipsychotic.

Antipsychotics are frequently only needed for a brief period of time until a patient’s symptoms are more tolerable. They might need to be taken longer by others.


Early intervention in psychosis
  • Cognitive behavioral intervention: One kind of mental health therapy is called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Its objective is to alter attitudes and actions. CBT entails routine consultations with a mental health professional.
  • It has been demonstrated that CBT is useful in assisting individuals in better managing their mental health issues.
  • Supportive psychotherapy: You can learn to cope with and manage psychosis with the use of supportive psychotherapy. It also imparts constructive thought patterns.
  • Cognitive enhancement therapy: Cognitive enhancement therapy (CET) improves comprehension and thinking skills through group work and computer exercises.
  • Family therapy: Family members are included in the psych education and support process. It strengthens your relationship and enhances the way you two solve issues.
  • CSC: When psychosis is initially identified, coordinated specialty care (CSC) fosters a team approach to treatment. CSC integrates social services, employment and educational support, psychotherapy, and medication.

Objectives of early interventions in psychosis

These are the following benefits of early interventions in psychosis:

The consequences of psychosis

 Because psychosis and psychotic disorders can be exceedingly debilitating, individuals who delay receiving proper treatment are considerably more likely to suffer from poor physical health, reduced social functioning, and worse outcomes in their careers and schooling.

The outcome of prompt medical attention

 Individuals with psychosis can and do recover; those who get the appropriate care from an EIP service at the appropriate time can go on to lead fulfilling, optimistic, and successful lives. Crucially, long-term results are significantly impacted by the interval between the beginning of psychosis and the administration of evidence-based treatment. The better the outcome and the lower the total cost of care, the earlier therapy is initiated.

Decreased suicide rates:

 Research indicates that receiving EIP services can lower a person’s risk of suicide from 15% to 1% when they are experiencing psychosis.

Better physical health:

Encouraging people’s physical health is a key component of the holistic approach used by EIP services. This is especially crucial because individuals suffering from psychosis may have extremely bad physical health due to adverse drug reactions, like sudden weight gain, and other causes. Because of this, individuals who suffer from psychosis typically pass away 15–20 years younger than the normal population, frequently from illnesses that could have been avoided.

Decreased demand for other services:

 Individuals receiving EIP help are less likely to require more costly mental health care and are also less likely to be placed under detention under the Mental Health act

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