Psychotic disorders are a category of disorders that are based around psychosis. If you have a psychotic disorder, you may have trouble connecting with other people or telling what is real and what is not. You may think that people are watching you, or sending messages that only you can hear. You may see things that aren’t real. And, you may have many symptoms that make it difficult for you to form meaningful relationships with other people or make achievements at work or school.

There are many types of psychotic disorders. Some of the more common psychotic disorders include:

Symptoms

Psychotic disorders usually have very recognizable symptoms. If you notice any of the following symptoms developing in yourself or a loved one, you should speak to a doctor to discuss your concerns. Symptoms of a psychotic disorder can include:

  • Delusions, like believing that you have been visited by aliens
  • Hallucinations, like hearing voices that others do not hear
  • Irrational fears and paranoia, a feeling of being watched
  • Religious delusions, including special messages from deities or religious figures
  • A disconnect from the world around you
  • An unshakable belief in things that cannot be true, like spies are watching you from the trees
  • Problems carrying on a conversation, or disordered speech and thought
  • Trouble taking care of yourself, like forgetting to eat or shower
  • Withdrawing from family, friends, and social situations
  • Sudden, unpredictable new beliefs or ideas that are not supported by facts
  • Paranoia and suspiciousness toward loved ones, friends, other people, or institutions
  • An inability to communicate clearly in speech or writing

Causes

The specific cause of a psychotic disorder is not known, but several factors can make you more likely to develop one. Some risk factors include:

  • A brain injury, including a stroke or traumatic brain injury
  • A family history of schizophrenia, other psychotic disorders, or mood disorders
  • Dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease
  • A brain tumor or cyst
  • Alcohol and drug misuse
  • Certain prescription medications
  • HIV and other infections
  • Childhood brain trauma or infections
  • Genetic mutations

Treatment

Through a combination of types of treatment, your symptoms can be controlled to help you minimize psychotic episodes and the impact that they have on your life. Your care team can help you find the best combination of treatments to keep your psychotic disorder managed. 

Medication: Medication cannot cure psychotic disorders, but it can play a big part in helping you manage your symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe antipsychotic drugs, antidepressants, or other types of medication to help you manage your symptoms. 

Therapy: Therapy is a great way to help figure out what your episode triggers are. See your options for treatment at Sheppard Pratt. 

Support: Finding the right support group can be key in helping you on your journey to better mental health. Locate a support group today.