Early Intervention to Prevent Relapse in Schizophrenia

Early Intervention

You know your child best. Pay attention to early warning signs and symptoms of mental illness, and seek help if you feel their behavior has changed drastically. The following is not an exhaustive list but can be helpful in identifying mental illness early: 

  • Talking, planning, or acting on impulses to self-harm or attempt suicide. If your loved one is exhibiting signs of suicidal thinking, has a plan, or is undertaking actions to end their life, seek immediate help by calling 911 or going to the emergency room. 
  • Explosive outbursts, extreme anger, short tempers, threats, yelling, uncontrollable crying, and other extreme expressions of emotion can be symptoms of a psychiatric conditions such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD, or depression.
  • Extreme mood swings are a symptom of many psychiatric conditions. This can include days of sleep mixed with days of hyper-activity. 
  • Engaging in risky activities such as shoplifting, sex, gambling, speeding could be symptoms of mania which is present in several psychiatric conditions including bipolar disorder and psychosis spectrum disorders. 
  • While it’s normal to need time to one’s self, extreme social withdrawal may be a symptom of depression, PTSD, or another brain illness.
  • The misuse of prescription or illicit drugs is cause for concern. The use of these substances may be causing physical harm, could lead to accidents, and are often used as a method to cope with distressing emotions or experiences. 
  • Not making sense or not understanding others may be a symptom of a memory or thought disorder.
  • Dramatic weight loss or gain, unkempt appearance, untreated sores, tattered clothing, and body odor may be signs that a loved one is using substances, is feeling out of control, or has lost touch with reality. 

Please don’t wait. If your child is having major behavioral changes, get them in front of a qualified doctor who can work with you to diagnose them properly and get them the care they need.