First Episode

Early psychosis or First Episode Psychosis (FEP) refers to the period of time during which a person begins experiencing the signs and symptoms of psychosis.

Signs/symptoms of what are called “positive symptoms” are:

  •      Hallucinations
  •      Hearing things other people don’t hear
  •      Seeing things other people don’t see
  •      Paranoid feelings
  •      Unusual beliefs or disorganized thoughts
  •      Imagining things

Signs/symptoms of what are called “negative symptoms” are:

  •     Showing a lack of interest in things a person used to be interested in
  •     Sleep disturbances
  •     A lack of emotion
  •     Decline in functioning at school and/or work
  •     Withdrawing from friends and family
  •     Not taking physical care of oneself
  •     Suspiciousness
  •     Depression or anxiety
  •     Difficulty expressing oneself or in thinking
  •     Agitation
  •     Feeling like the world is against you
  •     Helplessness or uselessness
  •     A sense that you’re being watched
  •     Feeling isolated

According to the National Psychosis Prevention Council, 75 percent of serious mental illnesses are diagnosed by the age of 24. Recent research and practice has shown us that the right early-on interventions help people recover. People who participate in appropriate services early on are more likely to go back to work and school, and to keep living their lives.

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