Centers for Youth and Families

Centers for Youth and Families

First Episode Psychosis

What is Early and First Episode Psychosis (FEP)?

It’s a temporary state where the brain’s ability to decipher reality causes disruptions in thoughts and perceptions. Everyone’s experience with psychosis is different.

First episodes of psychosis typically occur in teenagers and young adults – 75% of serious conditions begin by age 24.

Psychosis is more common than you might think – affecting about 1 in 33 people during their lives.

While the term ‘Psychosis’ can seem overwhelming, and symptoms often frightening and confusing for the person experiencing it and difficult for family to understand, early treatment can be very effective and life-changing.

If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one, call The Centers today.

The Centers provides quick and fitting services for psychiatric emergencies. We respond to all after-hours emergency calls. If the emergency goes beyond the capability of the agency, immediate referral is made to an appropriate facility.

24/7 Information Hotline: 501-666-8686

What are the warning signs of Early or FEP?

  • Hearing, seeing, tasting or believing things that others don’t
  • Suspiciousness or extreme uneasiness with others
  • Persistent, unusual thoughts or beliefs
  • Strong and inappropriate emotions or no emotions at all
  • Withdrawing from family or friends
  • A sudden decline in self-care
  • Trouble thinking clearly or concentrating

Again, everyone’s experience with psychosis is different, but if you’re concerned about any abnormal behavior don’t delay in seeking help. During early psychosis or a first episode is the most important time to connect with the right treatment.

What does treatment and recovery look like?

Psychosis can be treated and early treatment increases the chance of a successful recovery. Early intervention can radically improve and change the course of young lives.

Research supports a variety of treatments for FEP, especially coordinated specialty care (CSC). CSC involves the following components:

  • Individuals or group psychotherapy is typically based on cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) principles. CBT helps people solve their current problems. The CBT therapist helps the patient learn how to identify distorted or unhelpful thinking patterns, recognize and change inaccurate beliefs, relate to others in more positive ways, and change problematic behaviors.
  • Family support and education teaches family members about psychosis, coping, communication, and problem-solving skills. Family members who are informed and involved are more prepared to help loved ones through the recovery process.
  • Medications (also called pharmacotherapy) help reduce psychosis symptoms. Like all medications, antipsychotic drugs have risks and benefits. Clients should talk with their health care providers about side effects, medication costs, and dosage preferences (daily pill or monthly injection).
  • Supported Employment/Education (SEE) services help clients return to work or school and achieve their personal goals. Emphasis is on rapid placement in a work or school setting combined with coaching and support to ensure success.
  • Case Management helps clients with problem-solving. The case manager may offer solutions to address practical problems, and coordinate social services across multiple areas of need.

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