Inpatient / Partial Hospitalization:
Psychosis is a mental illness that causes your child to lose touch with reality. This means they could see or hear things that aren’t really there or believe in things that aren’t real. Our team uses the latest treatments – tailored to your child’s needs – to help your child’s thinking improve and help stabilize their emotions.
Psychosis is a mental health condition that affects how your child’s brain understands information. Your child might say they can see or hear things others can’t. They may also have unusual beliefs or perceptions that are far outside reality.
Psychosis happens for different reasons. Types of psychosis include:
Schizophrenia, a mental health illness that affects how people think, feel and behave, can cause psychosis. When children have psychosis caused by schizophrenia, they often experience delusions (believing in things that aren’t real), hallucinations (seeing, feeling or hearing things that aren’t there) and have unusual and unpredictable thoughts (like thinking they’re communicating with characters from books or movies).
Psychosis can be a side effect of prescribed medications or can be caused by illegal drugs. We’ll do a thorough evaluation to understand if the medications or substances your child is taking may be causing psychosis.
Some mood disorders (like bipolar disorder) can cause psychosis. If that’s the case, your child might suffer from hallucinations or delusions. However, not every child with a mood disorder will experience psychosis.
Severe illnesses or injuries may cause a child to develop psychosis. For example, an infection in the brain or a brain injury may cause behavior and thought changes in a child. This could lead them to hear, see or believe in things that aren’t real.
Common symptoms of psychosis include:
To diagnose psychosis, we first need to understand when and how it started. This will help us understand your child’s symptoms and rule out other conditions. If your child's doctor thinks they may be experiencing psychosis, they will typically:
It’s hard to know what causes psychosis in a particular child. It may be caused by (or related to) another illness or injury, substance abuse (like using drugs or alcohol) or genetics.
The most effective treatment for psychosis is a combination of medication and therapy.
Medications called antipsychotics help decrease delusions and hallucinations, while improving your child’s motivation and emotional well-being. We can also do one-on-one therapy sessions with your child or therapy sessions for your whole family. This helps us learn more about what your child and your family is going through so we can find ways to help.
We have psychologists, psychiatrists and therapists on our team.
If your child’s psychosis makes it unsafe for them to remain at home or in school, they might need to be hospitalized at some point. Ongoing outpatient medication and therapy appointments are very important for children struggling with psychosis. Sometimes, psychosis changes as your child grows, so your doctor may recommend changes in medication or therapy if symptoms return. Be patient, encourage your child to talk about their feelings and moods, and help your child understand that treatment can help.
The length of treatment depends on the type of psychosis your child has and what's causing it. Some children improve with therapy and medication as an outpatient. Others may need to spend time in the hospital and go through more intensive therapy to manage their condition. Psychosis can get better with the right combination of medication and therapy.