Psychotic disorders are a form of mental illness that display a break within one’s reality. This can include odd behavior, thinking, emotions, perceptions, hearing voices, or viewing things that are not there. Approximately 3.5% of the entire US population suffers from psychosis at one point in their lives. Psychotic disorders are complex and can require more in-depth treatment to manage symptoms.
The causes of psychotic disorders remain unknown but are believed to stem from suspect viruses, neurological malfunctions, traumatic or prolonged stress, substance abuse, and more. For more information on the types of Psychotic disorders and their causes, please read our resources page on Psychotic disorders.
Types of Psychotic Disorders
Characterized by false beliefs that the individual truly believes are valid, such as thinking someone is out to murder you or your spouse is having an affair, for example, which leads to impairing behaviors.
Substance-induced psychotic disorder
Hallucinations or delusions occur as a withdrawal symptom for several drugs, including alcohol, LSD, opioids, cocaine, benzodiazepines, amphetamines, and PCP.
It may involve hearing or seeing things that are not there, delusional thoughts, erratic behavior, angry outbursts, and moodiness.
Combines features of schizophrenia with a mood disorder involving depressive or manic episodes.
Similar to schizophrenia, but is a temporary disorder lasting one-six months and tends to affect teens and young adults.
Brief psychotic disorder
A short-lived disorder that is sometimes triggered by a traumatic event, such as the death of a loved one or a car accident, lasts less than one month.
Shared psychotic disorder
It involves two people who believe in a delusional situation, such as a husband and wife who feel the same absurd delusion.
Symptoms of a Psychotic Disorder
- Suspicious or paranoid behavior
- Loss of interest in appearance and hygiene
- Personality changes
- Persistent feelings of being watched
- Inappropriate behavior
- Avoidance of social situations
- Decline in academic or work performance
- Unusual body positioning or movement
- Unusual preoccupation and fears
- Strange or disorganized speech or writing
- Seeing or hearing things that are not there
- Irrational or angry behaviors
- Inability to concentrate
How to treat Psychotic Disorders
A person with a psychotic disorder may first require an inpatient intervention to stabilize their behavior, called an acute stabilization service. During any critical psychotic event, the subject will be closely monitored, with medications reviewed and adjusted while suitable therapy is initiated. A residential session usually allows for more intensive and customized treatments in a safe setting, with 24-hour support.
Treatment mainly involves drug therapy and psychotherapy. During residential treatment, patients will undergo various forms of psychotherapy. The approach focuses on helping the patient to recognize irrational thinking and behavior and replace them with healthy thinking-behavioral patterns. Individual, family, and group therapies are all provided through a residential program until the patient is stabilized.
Medications like antidepressants and anti-psychotic drugs may help stabilize the most severe symptoms, including hallucinations, cognitive difficulties, and delusions.
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