In addition to the psychosis itself, individuals suffering from this illness may also be contending with associated conditions like substance abuse, depression and aggression.
Many people with psychosis have problems with substance abuse, whether the substance in question is alcohol, marijuana or other street drugs. Sometimes, substance abuse begins before psychotic symptoms appear and speeds up the onset of psychosis. Other times, the substance abuse begins when the individual tries to “self medicate” the psychosis.
Ongoing substance abuse can hinder recovery from psychosis, causing relapses even when treatment is underway. Because of this, helping people reduce or avoid substance abuse is an important part of treatment for psychosis.
It is important to maintain anti-psychotic treatment even if a person continues to abuse substances.
For some people, depression is the first sign of illness, starting even before the psychotic symptoms appear. For others, depression begins after the psychotic symptoms have been successfully treated.
Because untreated depression can contribute to suicidal thoughts and actions, it’s important to identify and treat depression when it occurs.
When a person is experiencing intense psychotic symptoms, their behavior may become irrational, resulting in the potential for aggression and violence. In these cases, it’s important to ensure the safety of the person with psychosis and those around them by notifying the appropriate authorities. Most times, the potential for violence is minimized with effective anti-psychotic treatment.