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Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust

Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) service

Our Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) teams provide specialist treatment and care for people aged between 14 and 65 who have signs of psychosis.

We are here to help, and we’ll work with you to tailor support to reduce the distress and other problems associated with experiencing psychosis for the first time. Our aim is to get you back to following your hopes and ambitions as soon as possible

Our EIP teams are made up of several different health and social care professionals who provide a range of treatment and support options to you and your family or carers: please have a look at this page to find out more.

Find out more about why early intervention in psychosis is important, and how we can get help you get back on track after a first episode of psychosis.

Psychosis is a mental health condition which usually affects people in their teens or early adult years – although older people can experience it too.

Early signs can be vague and barely noticeable, and symptoms can vary a lot from one person to another, but the more common signs of psychosis include:
o Seeing, hearing or feeling sensations of things that aren’t there (hallucinations)
o Feeling as though a force or person outside you is interfering with your thoughts, body or actions (also known as ‘ideas of reference’)
o Having delusions such as thinking that people are conspiring against you, that you have special powers or skills OR that people on TV or radio are talking to or about you (also known as delusions)
o Experiencing trouble putting thoughts in order or keeping track of usual tasks (also referred to as ‘thought disorder’)

The symptoms of psychosis vary a lot between individuals and not everyone will experience those that we have listed.

What does psychosis, and recovery from it, feel like?

Chris about his experience of psychosis: “I was hearing people talk but hearing totally different words to what they were actually saying and hearing voices when people weren’t there. I even heard the voice of God. It was distressing and disorientating. I couldn’t say what was real and what wasn’t.”

Myths about Psychosis

MYTH # 1 TREATMENT DOESN’T WORK
Treatment is effective. The sooner treatment is started, the better the recovery.

MYTH # 2 TREATMENT IS SCARY AND PAINFUL
Don’t believe the scary things you see in movies. Treatment is safe and comfortable.

MYTH # 3 TREATMENT MEANS BEING LOCKED IN A HOSPITAL Early treatment often happens in a location of your choosing, whether that me at home or a café where you feel comfortable to talk.

It is important that help and support for any of the above experiences is sought and accessed early. See our ‘contact’ section for more on how you can get help.

 

What is mental health?

This is a term that you might have heard people mention before, but it’s important to start by trying to understand what we mean by ‘mental health’.
According to the World Health organisation, mental health is “a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”

What is psychosis?

Psychosis is a mental health problem in which there are changes in the way a person understands and experiences themselves and
the world. Sometimes, when people are experiencing psychosis,  they are said to have ‘psychotic symptoms’, a ‘psychotic disorder’,  a ‘psychotic illness’ or a ‘psychotic episode’.

What are the symptoms of psychosis?

If you are experiencing psychosis, you may notice changes in your thinking, such as difficulty in thinking as clearly as usual and your thoughts feeling out of control.

You may hear or see or feel things which others cannot (hallucinations) or you may develop unusual beliefs (sometimes called delusions).

Some people with psychosis lose their motivation and interest in things, or feel they have fewer thoughts or less to say than usual. The label ‘psychosis’ should only be used when these experiences are severe and frequent enough to cause distress or affect the person’s life.

If you are having difficulties that sound like any of the above symptoms, it may be helpful to talk to your doctor, psychiatrist or another professional involved in your mental health care. If you are not in touch with mental health services, a good start is going to see your GP.

What are risk factors and triggers for psychosis?

Approximately 3% of people will experience a psychotic episode at some stage in their life, although a first episode usually happens in adolescence or early in adult life. Psychosis happens across all cultures and levels of socioeconomic status and affects men and women equally.

Psychosis can sometime happen because of another illness, medical condition, drug use and/or stress. Some conditions in which psychosis may be present include:
• Schizophrenia
• Bipolar Disorder
• Depression
• Brain Injury/ Brain Tumour
• A Thyroid disorder

Because psychosis happens in many mental and physical disorders, it is likely that it has many causes. Biology, stress and drug use are widely supported as being contributors to the development of psychosis.

What are the things I can do to get well?

It is important to seek help if you suspect that you or someone you care about may be experiencing psychosis for the first time. Talking through the problem and how it is affecting them is usually the first.

The recovery process will vary from person to person. It is therefore important to speak to your Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) team about what works for you.

Some people will recover from psychosis very quickly and be ready to return to their life soon after.

Other individuals will need a longer time to respond to treatment and may need to return to their responsibilities gradually. Recovery from a first episode may take months or last several years. The main thing to remember is that with the right treatment, most people do get better.

Referrals for patients between 18-65 years should be made via the local Adult Mental Health Team.

Referrals for patients under the age of 18 should be made via Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

We have two Early Intervention in Psychosis teams covering Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

If you think we can help you, you can call us yourself or ask your doctor, family/carers or teacher to call us.

Our Oxfordshire team can be contacted on oeis@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk.

Our Buckinghamshire team can be contacted on webcommentsbeis@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk

Children & Young People services

Last updated: 5 April, 2018

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