This guidance published by the Royal College of General Practitioners aims to support GPs to act promptly if they suspect the possibility of an emerging psychosis.
The guidance highlights that Psychosis is one of the most serious conditions that can affect a young person. It is about as common as insulin dependent diabetes.
There is overwhelming evidence for the benefits of intervening early in the illness:
- Suicide risk is halved
- Over 50% will secure a job
- If caught very early, it is possible to delay or, better, prevent the onset of a disabling psychotic illness.
Key learning points for GPs
- Psychosis is usually heralded by a gradual deterioration in intellectual and social functioning
- GP recognition of early changes, clinical intuition and acting on family concerns are the key to early detection.
- Ask yourself “Would I be surprised if this turned out to be psychosis within the next 6 months?”