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Early or Warning Signs of Psychosis

The following symptoms may indicate that an individual is experiencing psychosis or is in theprodromal phase. Frequently, individuals will display unusual behaviours prior to the onset of the acute psychotic episode. It is useful to educate individuals with psychosis about these symptoms once they've recovered from the episode, and to help them identify which symptoms are their personal "warning signs" of relapse.
Behavioural

  • Strange posturing

  • Odd or bizarre behaviour

  • Feeling refreshed after much less sleep than normal

  • Excessive writing without meaning

  • Cutting oneself; threats of self-mutilation

  • Deterioration of personal hygiene

  • Hyperactivity or inactivity, or alternating between the two

  • Staring without blinking - or blinking incessantly

  • Agitation

  • Severe sleep disturbances

  • Drug or alcohol abuse (This may be a coping mechanism: self-medicating)

    Thinking and Speech

  • Things around them seem changed in some way

  • Rapid speech that is difficult to interrupt

  • Irrational statements

  • Extreme preoccupation with religion or with the occult

  • Peculiar use of words or odd language structures

  • Unusual sensitivity to stimuli (noise, light, colours, textures)

  • Memory problems

  • Severe distractibility

    Social

  • Sensitivity and irritability when touched by others

  • Refusal to touch persons or objects; wearing gloves, etc.

  • Severe deterioration of social relationships

  • Dropping out of activities - or out of life in general

  • Social withdrawal, isolation, and reclusive

  • Unexpected aggression

  • Suspiciousness

    Emotional

  • Inappropriate laughter

  • Inability to cry, or excessive crying

  • Feelings of depression and anxiety

  • Inability to express joy

  • Euphoric mood Personality

  • Reckless behaviours that are out of character

  • Significantly prolonged drops in motivation or speech

  • Shift in basic personality.

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