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First Episode Psychosis: An Information Guide Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health

The Causes of Psychosis

First Episode Psychosis: An Information Guide

In most cases, it is difficult to know what has caused the first episode of psychosis. Current research indicates that a combination of biological factors, including genetic factors, create a situation where a person is vulnerable to, or at a greater risk of, developing psychotic symptoms. A number of brain chemicals, including dopamine and serotonin, may play a role in how psychosis develops. A stressful event may trigger psychotic symptoms in a person who is vulnerable.

In the first episode of psychosis the cause may be particularly unclear. Therefore, it is important for the individual to have a thorough medical assessment, to rule out any physical illness that may be the cause of the psychosis. This assessment involves medical tests as well as a detailed assessment by a mental health professional.

In First Episode Psychosis: An Information Guide

  1. What is psychosis?
  2. The symptoms of psychosis
  3. The causes of psychosis
  4. The different types of psychosis
  5. Treatments for psychosis
  6. Family involvement — issues and concerns
  7. The process of recovery
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