The Maryland General Assembly approved funding this year to establish a “Center for Excellence on Early Intervention for Serious Mental Illness” to identify young people with psychosis or at risk for the specific symptom that makes violence more likely. The program aims to get them into immediate treatment.
Psychology Associate Professor Jason Schiffman is a member of the new center’s staff and is quoted in a USA Today/The Pew Charitable Trusts article. He describes how early treatment for people with psychosis can be pivotal.
“There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that the sooner a person with psychosis gets into treatment, the better the outcome for that person’s well-being, for that person’s chances of living and working in the community, for them living the life they want to live,” Schiffman said.
He also provides insight on how certain symptoms present in childhood can put a person at high risk to develop psychosis later in life.
“The person may say that the passage of time feels faster or slower than usual,” Schiffman said. “Familiar surroundings can seem strange, confusing or unreal. They might say they’ve heard things others can’t hear like people whispering or talking. They might say they mistake shadows for people or noises for voices. They might report seeing things on TV or reading in the newspaper that they think has special meaning to them. They often pick up hidden threats or putdowns in what people say or do. Some say they sometimes use words in unusual ways.”
You can read the full article here.