PSYCHOSIS SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Psychosis is a mental disorder, described as an impaired relationship with reality. For a young person suffering from psychosis, his or her delusions and or hallucinations feel real.
The teen is unable to distinguish between reality and his or her false thoughts, sounds, visions…etc. This can lead to harmful behavior and detrimental consequences. Several of the signs and symptoms of psychosis are normal when exhibited in young people, but it is important to be on the lookout for shifts in behaviors and note the difference between an overactive imagination and delusions or hallucinations.
It is not uncommon for the symptoms of psychosis to arise as a result of severe depression and or anxiety. This would not be classified as full psychosis, but rather as a manifestation of other mental health struggles, masked as psychosis. Any qualified mental health provider will be able to delineate between the two and advise accordingly. If there is concern that your adolescent is struggling with psychosis, a psychiatric evaluation may be beneficial.
Signs and Symptoms
There are a number of signs and symptoms that can arise in a young person suffering from psychosis. Below are some of the frequently exhibited signs:
• Difficulty with sleeping too much
• Intense worry or fear
• Inability to express feelings
• Disorganized speech
• Suicidal ideation
• Social isolation
• Withdrawing from family
A hallucination is an inaccurate sensory perception occurring in the absence of outside stimuli. Meaning that when a teenager hallucinates he or she may smell, hear, and or feel something that is not actually there. Delusions are characterized by steadfast beliefs in something that is not based in reality. An example of a delusion is a teenager who believes that he or she is a celebrity and should be treated as such. It is important to remember that every teenager is different and has the propensity to exhibit any combination of the above examples.
While there is currently no cure for psychosis, there is treatment to help a young person cope with and manage his or her symptoms. Pacific Teen Treatment creates individualizes treatment plans for each of its residents. There are many aspects of psychosis that are essential to work on during one’s recovery process and through our treatment plans we are able to address them. A treatment plan for a young person with psychosis will be made up of various therapeutic modalities, possible medication, and will be as thorough as including healthy daily activities, dietary choices, and proper sleep schedules.
Some of the therapeutic methods that are used with teenagers who have psychosis include talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and relaxation techniques. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a commonly used therapy for adolescents with psychosis to help a young person recognize his or her unhealthy thought processes, which leads to poor behavioral patterns. Once this is achieved, the teen will then learn to create healthier thoughts resulting in healthier behaviors. Dialectical behavior therapy is a newer form on behavioral therapy that can help a teenager learn mindfulness-based skills to manage his or her emotions. This will result in improved interpersonal skills. Some of the relaxation techniques that are integrated in a teen’s treatment plan with psychosis include meditation, yoga, and certain forms of exercise.
When medication is necessary we consult with the leading experts in adolescent psychiatry. We also are sure to include the parents when medication is a possibility, to obtain permission as well as provide continued involvement in the young person’s treatment process. At Pacific Teen Treatment, we feel it is essential to educate a teenager about his or her psychosis, because a young person who understands his disorder will be better equipped to manage all that comes with it.
Every family in need of mental health treatment must select a program that will best suit the needs of their family. When one member of a family struggles, it impacts everyone in the family unit. In order to maximize the benefits of treatment we work closely with the entire family to ensure that everyone is receiving the support they need through these difficult times.
Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know is in need of mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person’s life, long term. Seeking support at the beginning of one’s journey can put the individual in the best position to learn how to manage themselves in a healthy way so they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.
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