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Why is it important to get help early?

When psychosis goes untreated, things can get out of control fast

For a lot of reasons (like fear, anxiety or just not knowing that something is wrong), it can often take one or two years for someone to get treatment for psychosis—and that’s too long! During that time a lot of things can happen that make it hard for people to get their lives back on track. People with untreated psychosis are much more likely to fail out of school, to lose friends, to begin using—or to increase their use of—drugs and alcohol or to get involved in crime. Worst of all, they can lose their confidence and their hope for the future!

The sooner a person gets treated, the better chance for recovery

It’s recommended that a person get treated as soon as symptoms are noticed. Why? When people have psychosis, most of the loss in their ability to do day-to-day things and to have normal interactions with others happens in the first few years of the illness. Also, treatment is most effective in the first episode of psychosis or, in other words, the first time it happens. In short, the sooner a person starts treatment, the easier it is for him or her to get life back on track. That’s why the On Track Program has been designed to help people spot and treat psychosis as early as possible—and to prevent the illness from returning.

Getting help early cuts down (or prevents) hospital stays

By getting treated early, a person can reduce, or even prevent, hospital stays! Getting treated outside the hospital causes fewer disruptions in a person’s life and lets him or her stay connected with the things that matter most: family, friends and jobs or school.