Several studies have shown that there is often a major delay in initiating treatment for people affected by a psychotic disorder. These delays vary hugely from person to person but in many studies the time between the first signs of psychosis and a person receiving appropriate treatment is between 1 and 2 years. As with all illnesses this delay carries a penalty.
A psychotic episode commonly isolates the person from others and impairs family and social relationships. As a result of someone experiencing psychosis difficulties arise in school and work, the individual's performance is likely to deteriorate over time. There may be secondary difficulties such as unemployment, substance abuse, depression, self-harm or suicide and illegal behaviour can occur. If left untreated, there is greater disruption to the person's ability to function on a daily basis. Getting help early minimises this disruption and allows for a more complete recovery.