Early Warning Signs

Early warning signs (sometimes referred to as prodrome) 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. The most common signs (usually identified after someone develops psychosis) are:

  • reduced concentration and attention
  • reduced drive and motivation
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • social withdrawal
  • suspiciousness
  • irritability
  • mood swings
  • sleeping problems
  • changes in habits
  • difficulty carrying out daily responsibilities

Psychosis often appears for the first time during the teenage years, and so a lot of these early symptoms are confused with “a bad attitude” or “typical teenage behaviour”. A drop in grades, or less involvement in activities that were once considered important, like work, hobbies, sports, or socializing, can be serious signs that something is not right. These may also be signs of other conditions or illnesses.

Always keep in mind the rule of thumb if you’re worried about psychosis: “Am I always like this? Is this the me I usually am? Or am I feeling like this is somehow different from my usual self? Are people around me noticing that I’m different?”

Acute Signs

When a break with reality happens, a person’s perception of what is real changes in ways that can be unpredictable and unusual.

What are the Acute Signs?