Sometimes young people experience changes in their thinking, feelings, or behavior that are confusing or distressing. It can be hard to know what to make of these changes. Do other people have these experiences? Should I be worried? Will they pass?
There are many different possible explanations for these types of experiences. Contributing factors range from sleep deprivation, stress, and substance use, to neurological or mental health disorders including seizures, depression, and schizophrenia. Although these changes may be fairly common among young people, they may be bothersome and/or interfere with goals and well-being.
Sometimes these changes may suggest that someone is at risk for worsening problems. Understanding information about these experiences may reduce the fear and misunderstandings that keep people from getting help early. In the following pages, we provide information on what being "At Risk" means, what early signs of psychosis are (since many of the experiences we describe are mild or subtle forms of psychosis), and some guidelines for getting help.
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Note: With permission, this content is based on content from the CEDAR Clinic website (www.cedarclinic.org) and expertise of Dr. Michelle Friedman-Yakoobian and Dr. Kristen Woodberry