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Dealing with psychosis: The importance of social support

April 18, 2017 - Jennifer Martinez, PsyD

For teens and young adults dealing with psychosis, social interactions can be a key component of the recovery process. Research has shown that social interactions can help develop a fulfilling social life and provide the motivation and feedback necessary for getting better.

Loneliness and social withdrawal are common among those suffering from psychosis. This lack of contact with others can create recovery setbacks. In fact, social isolation often affects the entire family. The stigma of psychosis can cause families to argue and create anxiety that hinders the ability make healthy, happy connections with others.  

Obtaining mental health support

The good news is that there are many forms of support available for those dealing with psychosis. For the young patient, often a combination of family, friends, pets and social media can help to build a social network that helps reduce difficult feelings of loneliness and isolation. Participating in ETP groups can also be beneficial by providing a setting where young people can meet others who have experienced similar symptoms. Spending quality time with loved ones and friends can buffer against stressful situations and positively shape the recovery process.

Communication is key

Social interaction can sometimes be challenging and requires ongoing practice. However, support from friends and family can provide opportunities to disclose a wide range of thoughts, feelings and emotions openly, as well as offer meaningful feedback. Motivation and encouragement are also important for dealing with psychosis and can actively facilitate recovery. Lastly, loved ones can often tell when there are warning signs of relapse. Their help with watching for symptoms is vital to recovery.

At the Early Treatment Program, we are here for you to help you manage your symptoms and support you in being the strong and resilient person that you are. Reach out to us any time if you are experiencing a change in symptoms.