As part of a national project to raise awareness about first-episode psychosis and support the needs of families affected by the illness, the Canadian Mental Health Association has developed this sibling resource guide – a guide intended to provide information and support to teens and young adults who have a brother or sister experiencing psychosis.
Prepared as part of the CMHA National’s project Youth and Mental Illness: Early Intervention, the purpose of this document is to provide an overview of early psychosis intervention concepts and recent findings. It is intended as a user-friendly introduction and does not attempt to provide a critical analysis of the conceptual and methodological complexities that are inherent to the field. Interested readers are advised to consult the referenced literature for more in-depth reading on various aspects of early psychosis intervention.
In the “What is Psychosis?” section, we go into more detail about the causes and treatment of psychosis. In this section, we concentrate on the importance of identifying the early warning signs of a developing psychoses, getting an assessment and initiating treatment to reduce the impact of the episode.
The Guide to Canadian Early Psychosis Initiatives, prepared through 2000-2001, was an attempt to create a single, comprehensive source of information regarding the many and varied early psychosis initiatives being pursued across Canada.
Psychosis is a serious but treatable medical condition that reflects a disturbance in brain functioning. A person with psychosis experiences some loss of contact with reality, characterized by changes in their way of thinking, believing, perceiving and/or behaving. For the person experiencing psychosis, the condition can be very disorienting and distressing. Without effective treatment, psychosis can overwhelm the lives of individuals and families.
Something is wrong with your child. You can’t put your finger on it, but she is acting strangely. Withdrawn and sullen, she won’t get out of bed. She mopes around all day refusing even to take a shower or get dressed; this is really odd considering she used to be so picky about the way she looked. Sometimes she lashes out for no apparent reason, other times she walks around showing no emotion. Your gut is telling you that things are not right but your head refuses to believe this is anything but typical teenage behaviour.