FAQs and Common Misconceptions


  • Is psychosis a diagnosis?

    No, psychosis is not a diagnosis. Psychosis is a symptom that can be associated with many different medical and mental health diagnoses. Some examples of these diagnoses include schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder with psychotic features, or major depressive disorder with psychotic features.

  • What is early psychosis?

    Early psychosis (sometimes referred to as first episode psychosis) is a term used to describe the experience of people who have recently experienced psychosis for the first time. Most of the time, this happens between the ages of 15 and 30.  

  • What is clinical high risk?

    Clinical high risk for psychosis is a term that describes young people who may be at higher risk for developing psychosis due to a number of different factors, such as family history, substance use, and specific mental health symptoms. 

  • Is psychosis treatable?

    Yes, people living with psychosis have a very high chance of recovery. Research has demonstrated that the earlier someone receives treatment after developing symptoms, the better the outcome will be down the road.1  

  • Nobody will understand.

    Worrying that others might not understand what you are experiencing is normal. In fact, experiencing psychosis is more common than you might think – 1 in 33 people have experienced it at some point in their lives.2 We are happy to help you figure out the best way to talk with the important people in your life about what’s going on with you.

  • Where will I find help?

    We work closely with many programs specializing in early psychosis. We can help you to get connected with a program that best fits your needs. A list of these programs can be found here: First Episode Psychosis Program Directory for Massachusetts.

  • Why call M-PATH instead of a psychosis-specific clinic?

    Psychosis is a complicated experience that looks different for different people. Our team can help you to figure out what kinds of services might be the best fit for your needs. We also have up-to-date information on current waitlists and availability, so we can save you the time it might take to call around to find the right program. 

  • Is it my fault?

    No, nobody is at fault when someone is experiencing psychosis. People can develop psychosis due to many different combinations of biological and psychological factors. 

  • How is substance use related to psychosis?

    There are many different factors that contribute to why someone may experience psychosis. There is evidence that some people who use stimulants and marijuana may be at higher risk for developing psychosis. For people who are already experiencing symptoms, substance use can sometimes make those symptoms worse.

  • My family member/friend is experiencing symptoms, but they don’t think there is a problem.

    It is common for people to not think there may be anything concerning going on. To learn more skills about supporting your loved one, we suggest taking the Motivational Interviewing for Loved Ones e-course.

  • How long will it take to get connected to care?

    If you don’t already have a mental health provider, we can help you find one in the area. This might take a few days or a few weeks. If you already have a mental health provider, we will talk with you about some options – we might suggest that we talk to your provider directly about how they can best support you with the symptoms you’re experiencing – this can happen right away. Or we might suggest that we help you find a specialized clinic – this might take up to several months depending on waitlists. During this waiting period, we will be available to support you and answer questions along the way.

    If you are in an emergency situation, please contact 911.