Early Treatment for Psychosis
Today, there are more treatment options for psychosis than were available even a few years ago, and options are not limited to medical management. Research has demonstrated that some educational, counseling and support strategies are also effective. Medical treatment is still an important tool for managing symptoms that become overwhelming or uncontrollable, but medicine alone cannot lead to a full recovery. Long term recovery requires educating oneself about the disease, developing coping strategies that work, and gradual reengagement with daily routines and future plans. Recovery can take from 6 to 24 months, and the best people to help guide you through it are trained professionals and people who have successfully lived with psychosis. A therapist who is specially trained can help families stay focused and separate facts from false claims about psychosis. Meeting with others who have “lived experience” can provide insight, tips, and support. Occupational Therapy and Vocational/Educational (Voc/Ed) Counseling are also worth considering as enhancements to treatment. Occupational Therapy can help to improve everyday living (e.g., exercise, doing what ‘feels good’, better sleep) whereas Vocational/Educational Counseling can help with new challenges at school or work.
No matter what treatment or combination of treatments you choose, the key to greater success is catching signs and symptoms early on. As with other diseases, like diabetes, psychosis does not appear without warning. Symptoms begin as subtle indicators that “something is not quite right” and then worsen over time. Families that attend to symptoms while they are still early and prodromal (see "What is Early Psychosis") are not only better positioned to manage those symptoms, but also prevent those symptoms from becoming unmanageable. In other words, some studies suggest that early interventions to manage psychosis can actually stop the progression to more serious disorders, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
“Catching psychosis early” means working with a professional who has special training in treating psychosis as soon as possible. A specialist can ask the right questions to find out if a person is likely to be developing psychosis.
Delaware CORE’s staff is specially trained to treat early psychosis and provides a full range of treatment options. These include individual counseling, education, multifamily groups, psychiatry, occupational therapy, and vocational/educational counseling and advocacy. For more information, call 877-777-2505.