When your child is having the first signs of a cold you know the symptoms: runny nose, low energy, cough, and headache. So you take action and start giving them extra vitamins, more time to sleep and reduce their stress. Do you treat mental health the same as physical health? Do you know the warning signs and how to get help?
Here are some examples of warning signs/mild psychotic symptoms:
Suspiciousness (e.g., Feeling increasingly uneasy around friends, family, or teachers without knowing why)
Odd beliefs or magical thinking (e.g., Feeling confused about whether a dream actually happened; Wondering whether other people might be able to read your mind; Finding meaningful connections between unrelated events; Clear and frequent déjà vu experiences or experiences of unreality)
Unusual perceptual experiences (e.g., Sounds seeming louder than usual; Seeing shadows that look like people or vague figures out of the corner of the eye; Finding that everyday noises sound like words or have special meaning)
Tangential/circumstantial speech (e.g., Going off track while speaking; Using odd combinations of words)
Taking the time to understand these types of experiences may reduce the fear and misunderstandings that keep people from getting help early. For some people, the symptoms will get better on their own, while for others, the symptoms may become more intense or problematic. Although we cannot quite predict with certainty who will and will not develop psychosis over time, we may have an opportunity to help someone stay on track in their lives and prevent suffering if we treat him or her early enough.
Getting help for mental health early is just as important in treating that pre-cold.
For early intervention help, please contact Corin Pilo at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information and helpful handouts, please visit www.cedarclinic.org