Researchers at University of Queensland have warned that the risk of suicides and self harm is significantly higher among teenagers who go through psychotic experiences.
The researchers analyzed the mental health of nearly 2,000 Australian teenagers between 12 and 17 years of age and followed them over a period of 12 months, recording any instances of psychotic experiences and physiological distress such as depression and anxiety.
The researchers found that those who complained of psychological distress were three times more likely to harm themselves and five times more likely to attempt suicide compared to 11 times and 13 times respectively among those who had psychotic experiences.
"Psychotic experiences and psychological distress should serve as warning signs that a young person is at high risk of self-harm or attempting suicide. We would encourage health practitioners to ask young people about psychotic symptoms such as hearing voices or feeling paranoid when they are assessing their mental health and the likelihood of self-harm", lead researcher Associate Professor James Scott said.