System of Care- Community for Early Signs and Symptoms

What is Psychosis?

The word psychosis is used to describe conditions that affect the mind, where there has been some loss of contact with reality. Psychosis often begins when a person is in his or her late teens to mid-twenties. Studies have shown that it's common for a person to have psychotic symptoms for more than a year before receiving treatment. Reducing this duration of untreated psychosis is critical because early treatment often means a better recovery. To learn more about Pyschosis and early recovery visit: 


Myths and Facts About Psychosis


Myth: Psychosis is the result of bad parenting.

Fact: Most experts agree that genetics, substance use, stress, and other risk factors may lead to psychosis.

Myth: People with psychosis are lazy.

Fact: Psychosis is a medical disorder that affects the brain.  Like any other injury, the brain needs to heal.  The might mean that the person sleeps a lot, not that they’re lazy.

Myth: People with psychosis are “stupid”.

Fact: The person’s learning difficulties may be due to the illness, not lack of intelligence.

Myth: Psychosis results from a personality weakness or character flaw.

Fact: Psychosis has nothing to do with being weak.  It results from changes in the way the brain works.  Medication and psychosocial therapies can help. 3

Myth: Psychosis can’t happen to me.

Fact: Almost anyone who has to deal with stress could develop psychosis.  In addition, research has shown that if a person has related family members who have experienced psychosis, that person can have a stronger chance of developing psychosis.

Myth: People with a condition like psychosis do bad things.

Fact: It is very rare for people with psychosis to commit serious crimes.  In fact, many people with psychosis are very shy and can be fearful of others.  People with psychosis who do bad things usually do those things as a result of bad habits.  The unfortunate reality is that people who have psychosis are more often the victims of crime than the perpetrators of crime.  People with psychosis are more likely to be robbed, abused, or assaulted than people without psychosis. 

Myth: If you have psychosis, you’ll never be a “normal” person.

Fact: It’s likely that the more you think about the person or people who can be described as “normal” in your life and what they do or how they do it, the more you’ll notice that those people have all sorts of quirks and habits that make them somehow different than others.  Really, it’s more “normal” to seem different and to feel different from others than it is to feel or look like you fit in 100% of the time.  4


SOC-CESS Resources


Listed below are several organizations that have information, fact sheets, infographs, and other resources that discuss psychosis. 

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

*Understanding a First Episode of Psychosis Young Adult: Get the Facts

*Understanding a First Episode of Psychosis Caregiver: Get the Facts

National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors:

*Early Psychosis Helping Your Family Member  

Early Psychosis Intervention Ontario Network:

*The Anatomy of First Episode Psychosis

*What Can You Do For Students with Psychosis

*Myths and Facts About Psychosis

*Early Psychosis Intervention

*What is Psychosis?  


*Psychosis and Young People  

The Campaign to Change Direction

*Five Signs of Emotional Suffering

Orygen Youth Health

*Psychosis and Young People

*Medications for Psychosis

*Physical Health and Psychosis

*What is Psychosis?

*Getting Help Early

*Recovering from Psychosis

*How Can I Help Someone with Psychosis?

Mental Health America

*Life with Psychosis Infographic

Psychosis 101

*Psychosis Myths and Misinformation

Early Psychosis Intervention

*Dealing with Psychosis Toolkit

*What is Psychosis?

*What Can You Do About Psychosis?

*Dealing with Symptoms

*Causes of Psychosis

*Early Intervention

*Stress Management

*Phases of Psychosis

*Treatment for Psychosis


*Preventing Relapse

Coping Skills

  1. Psychosis and young people [PDF]. (n.d.).

  2. Early Pyschosis Helping You Family Member [PDF]. (n.d.). British Columbia Schizophrenia Society  2013.

  3. Myths and Facts about Psychosis [PDF]. (2015, October). The Early Psychosis Intervention Ontario Network.

  4.  Psychosis Myths and Misinformation [PDF]. (2013). Psychosis 101.

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This project, publication/report/etc. was developed [in part] under grant number 1H79SM063402-01 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The views, policies, and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of SAMHSA or HHS.

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