April 10, 2006

Early Diagnosis and Treatment - Vital for Recovery

This story about early treatment programs for psychosis and schizophrenia comes to us from Ireland. Perhaps the key quote of the story is this: "There is evidence from Canada, Australia and other countries that such services improve the chances of recovery by up to 50 per cent." Its extremely unfortunate that we in the USA don't have a national program to target this crucial time period of early psychosis - as the healthcare systems in Canada, Australia and England have.

Instead of early schizophrenia treatment and prevention programs, we invest in jails. While this may be great for the jail construction company lobbyists and the politicians they fund, we suspect that most informed people wouldn't think its the best approach for the US population at large. If you disagree with the policy of jailing the mentally ill instead of providing preventative treatment programs - you might want to discuss it with your local politician and make your voice heard in the next federal elections. But we digress... following is the story out of Ireland:

Young people with psychosis (the broader term for brain disorders that includes schizophrenia) who experience one to two years' delay in diagnosis and treatment experience more severe symptoms, are more likely to make a suicide attempt and more likely to be admitted to hospital, according to recent research done in Ireland.

This research, carried out by the Cluain Mhuire mental health services in Dublin, Ireland, led to the development of Ireland's first service offering early detection and treatment of serious mental illness in young people last year. The Dublin East Treatment and Early Care Team (Detect) project, which first took referrals in February 2005, has seen 110 people to date.

"We do rapid assessments of the patients, within 72 hours of receiving a referral from community mental health service," said Niall Turner, project manager of Detect, which operates in the HSE Eastern Region. "There is evidence from Canada, Australia and other countries that such services improve the chances of recovery by up to 50 per cent."

Following diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder or a drug/substance induced psychosis, patients and their families are offered a variety of services, including group psychological therapies, carer education programs for family members and psychosocial programs of rehabilitation and vocational training.

Psychosis affects 3 per cent of the population and usually develops in late adolescence (early adulthood). Difficulties often develop including disrupted education and employment, relationship problems, substance misuse, depression and suicide.

"These young people are a high-risk group and are 20 times more likely to take their own lives," Prof Eadbhard O'Callaghan, a psychiatrist with Cluain Mhuire, said yesterday.

However, many people who develop psychosis do recover and early diagnosis and intervention are deemed crucial to such recovery.

The new Ireland national mental health policy document, A Vision for Change, recommends the establishment of another early intervention pilot program for young people with psychosis.

Source: The Irish Times

More information: Global List of Early Psychosis Treatment Centers

Complete List: Early Psychosis / Schizophrenia Treatment News and Information

Posted by szadmin at April 10, 2006 09:42 PM

More Information on Early Schizophrenia Treatment


this is good news.. very good news for the prevention of this disease.. i only wish our goverment in the USA would pilot such programs

Posted by: ivan villalobos at April 11, 2006 12:49 PM

This article represents
how autistic the USA goverment is...

Posted by: George11 at April 16, 2006 11:27 AM

I have a 49 year old daughter with schizophrenia.
She lives in Connecticut and is under the care of the system there. She would very much like to fully recover, but is stuck with "treatment" only. What are you able to suggest that might benefit her?

Posted by: Frances Griffin at October 6, 2006 06:47 AM

Hi, I have recently begun taking Resperdol at night to, according to the nurse practitioner, was intented to help me sleep better and to calm "racing thoughts." I was supposed to take a half of the pill, cut with a pill cutter. After a few days, I forgot I was supposed to take only half and for about 2 weeks took a whole pill at night. I did help me sleep soundly until the next morning. Now, back on the half, I am waking up at 2 or 3:00 a.m. and it's difficult if not impossible to go back to sleep. I average normally 7 hours of sleep per night, except for recently when I've been waking up in the middle of the night. Is taking 1 whole Resperdol too much, should I just accept I must take the half and learn to live with it? Thank you for your answer.

Posted by: Mary Todd at August 13, 2007 04:54 PM

Hi,im elizabeth,i've been diagnose by schizoprenia paranoia at 2 years before.i have halucination for 1 mounth.i dont know is it an early simptom or what?please help me to know more about my disease.until now i still have meds lodopin 50mg a day.im not ready yet to accept my disease.can u give any information?

Posted by: Elizabeth at March 8, 2008 12:29 AM

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