Navigation Links
First contact: Early intervention key in diagnosis and treatment of serious mental illness
Date:4/16/2012

CHICAGO Early symptoms of major mental illness can be subtle personality changes. Therefore, initial warning signs can often be missed, or even ignored due to conventional wisdom that suggests it's better to wait for true behavioral deterioration and prolonged patterns of abnormality before diagnosing and treating a mental illness. But experts warn that waiting until someone is so ill that the psychological sickness is unmistakable can be detrimental and can lead to long-term health concerns. In an effort to end the waiting game, Northwestern Medicine behavioral health experts from the Stone Institute of Psychiatry at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine have launched First Contact, a program aimed at preventing the onset of long-term disability due to severe mental illness by increasing awareness of signs and symptoms and encouraging people to seek help earlier.

"Oftentimes, waiting is tragic," says Will Cronenwett, MD, a psychiatrist at Northwestern Memorial and instructor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "The first time subtle changes emerge is the best time to get an evaluation. By the time someone is so ill that it's resulted in their first hospitalization, they've already started to fall away from the trajectory that their life would have taken."

Cronenwett notes these subtle changes include odd thoughts, changes in mood, behavior or personality. Depression and isolation can be a sign, as well as strange experiences like hearing things that other people can't hear. "What really makes these things clinically significant is if the patient, family, or school thinks the young person's level of functioning is changing," said Cronenwett. "If grades drop, or the person misses days at work or work performance changes, or if he or she gives up friends, or stops relating well to family members, these are all serious signs."

First Contact focuses on identifying the first stages of mental illness, even before a definite diagnosis is made. This is possible because mental illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder have very similar biological profiles, so the symptoms can be the same. When warning signs appear, diagnosis is not necessary to begin early treatment that is very low risk, such as teaching people about psychiatric wellness and how to monitor themselves for signs of illness.

Cronenwett explains that those who suffer from mental illness experience deterioration in or difficulty maintaining vitally important connections. They either lose or can't form important relationships, their productivity and performance drops and they often struggle to start a career or maintain stability such that their lives spiral out of their control.

"We don't want to wait until someone gets hospitalized before we begin treatment," said Cronenwett. "We want to intervene early to see if we can prevent that loss of milestones. This program gives people a place to go when they are concerned about a friend or loved one."

If someone is concerned about mental illness in a family member, they can call Northwestern's Stone Institute for more information. Stone offers inpatient and outpatient care for adults, as well as outpatient care for adolescents ages 12󈝾 through its Warren Wright Adolescent Center. If the patient is over the age of 18, they will receive an evaluation at First Contact. Patients under the age of 18 are evaluated at Warren Wright. The evaluation might include psychological testing in addition to a standard psychiatric interview. Treatment services are available for all mental health conditions, including substance abuse, depression and ADHD.

"Whatever age in life the illness begins to strike, we can treat adolescents or adults to prevent disability and keep them on track with the rest of their lives," said Cronenwett.


'/>"/>

Contact: Colleen Sheehan
csheehan@nmh.org
312-926-7769
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. First targeted nanomedicine to enter human clinical studies
2. First Bedside Gene Test Shows Promise
3. Complications in patients undergoing PCI tend to occur within first 30 days
4. $4.2 million grant helps plan, launch first Alzheimers prevention trials
5. First national guideline for sudden hearing loss published
6. Researchers develop first theranostic treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)
7. First study of its kind finds no increased risk of heart disease for kidney donors
8. UC San Diego among first in nation to treat brain cancer with novel viral vector
9. First breakdown of public health data for Cleveland neighborhoods
10. Rapid Flu Tests a Good First Step: Study
11. First study on long-term cognitive effects of breast cancer chemotherapy finds subtle impairment among women who received CMF regimen
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/26/2017)... , ... April 26, 2017 , ... ... in Hackensack, N.J. has been honored by Enterprising Women magazine as one of ... the world’s top women business owners. Winners have demonstrated that they have fast-growth ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... April 26, 2017 , ... Want to learn more ... CRISPRCas.pioneer.com ) that demonstrates how this advanced plant breeding technology is a more ... with fewer resources. It highlights the business’ principles, research and collaboration efforts in ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... Splashtop ... Mirroring360 Pro . This new addition to the Mirroring360 product family combines device ... business. , Mirroring360 Pro enables educators, business professionals and individuals to stream or ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... 25, 2017 , ... A recent report from the Wisconsin ... the 2015-16 school year across Wisconsin’s public schools, charter schools, and private schools ... in student test score performance, the report’s limited analyses fail to provide answers ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... ... in unveiling cutting-edge birth defects research related to Zika virus during pregnancy, as ... premier society for this important science. , The Teratology Society ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/19/2017)... 2017 Global Surgical Drainage Device Market: Overview ... to remove excess liquid and air. The fluid to ... or lymph. Surgical drains are used in a wide ... surgery, cardiovascular surgery, neurosurgery, plastic surgery etc. Common use ... accumulation of fluid e.g. blood or pus. Surgical drains ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... , April 19, 2017 ... stimulate an immune response in pets such as ... products are of various types such as Attenuated ... Toxoid Vaccines, DNA Vaccines and Recombinant Vaccines. Attenuated ... as virus or bacteria, which have been weakend ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... , April 18, 2017 Cogentix Medical, ... on providing the Urology, Uro/Gyn and Gynecology markets with ... the first quarter ended March 31, 2017 after the ... The Company will host a conference call and ... on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: