Acute Signs

The acute phase is when a person is definitely having a psychotic event, when their brain is causing them to experience an altered perception of reality.

This means that a person has progressed in their condition from the small, subtle changes of the early warning signs to some of the more obvious signs and symptoms of psychosis.

When a break with reality happens, a person’s perception of what is real changes in ways that can be unpredictable and unusual. The change in the perception of reality that happens with psychosis can have an effect on a person’s behaviour, causing them to do things they ordinarily wouldn’t do.

A note about insight:

Insight is a word that is often used to describe the awareness that a person has about a health condition that is affecting them.

With most medical conditions, like a heart condition, or with diabetes, people understand that they have a health problem, and this understanding often compels them to seek treatment and to stick with a treatment routine until they become healthy.

Psychosis is an interesting condition, because it is known for its lack of insight. Some people who are having a psychotic event aren’t aware they have a health problem or don’t believe they have a health problem, even though it has become clear to those around them. A lack of insight can make things difficult when trying to encourage a loved one to get help.

Not all people with psychosis lose insight and it isn’t yet known where a person loses insight in the disease process. Generally, the longer a person has experienced symptoms, the less likely they are to have insight.

Early Warning Signs

Early warning signs can be the earliest phase of psychosis. In this phase, psychosis may not be present or barely detectable, but a person may feel different, and others around the person may notice some small changes.

What are the Early Warning Signs?