Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Longer Untreated Psychosis in Youth Associated With Worse Outcomes

This is For Families New to Psychosis - This is just a reminder to everyone that getting treatment for psychosis as quickly as possible is important.

The sooner the person gets treatment (therapy and medications is usually the best approach) the better the person recovers. Many studies have shown this. So - this story is not new, but just a good reminder.

Researchers from Denmark and New York have found that in patients who develop schizophrenia or psychoses as children or adolescents, leaving the psychosis untreated for longer periods was associated with poorer outcomes.

“The early detection and treatment of people at risk for — or in the earliest phases of — psychotic disorders is currently regarded as the most promising strategy to improve treatment outcome and long-term prognosis, and thus reduce the consequences of full-blown psychotic disorder in this population,”2,3 wrote Marie Stentebjerg-Olesen, MD, from the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Center in Copenhagen, Denmark and colleagues.

Read the full story here:

But don’t feel guilty if you can’t get treatment for an ill family member, everyone says to me, because it’s really hard to get treatment for schizophrenia… Be patient, I was told. No, do not be patient. Do everything you can to get your family member medical treatment if their illness is severe.

I just read a medical record of me “crying and very distressed” in the doctor’s office during my family member’s last doctor’s appointment when family member once again refused medication and other treatment. Family member’s schizophrenia became acute psychosis once more which led to terrible event.

If professionals know how imperative early treatment is, why do they NOT treat people? Sincere question.

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Absolutely - you can’t feel guilty about the past - you do the best you can given the resources and knowledge and abilities you have (and limitations of the “system” - which are many).

This post is more for new people coming to the site where the person with the psychosis has not yet received treatment. If you’re past that phase - ignore this post. It doesn’t help to rehash the past.

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