Active screening and risk management in primary care settings may make the difference between recovery and long-term disability for individuals at risk for and in the early stages of a major psychotic disorder. However, as with all early intervention, it is important to minimize inappropriate or premature diagnoses. Roughly 17% of young people have psychotic-like experiences, and most will never develop a major psychotic disorder. This website was made with both of the following goals in mind:
The primary goal of screening for psychosis is to allow those experiencing warning signs to get help as soon as possible. If health professionals are knowledgeable, comfortable, and willing to ask about psychosis, their patients may be more likely to disclose their internal experiences and to be guided to timely assessment and treatment.
Patients experiencing unusual thoughts and behaviors are often scared about what is happening and may worry that they are “going crazy.” A secondary goal when screening for psychosis is to minimize worry and stigma, and assure that information provided is accurate and appropriate to each individual’s experiences, context, and level of risk. This is particularly important for patients whose symptoms may remit with minimal or no intervention.
BALANCING the potential benefits and risks of early intervention involves: