Psychotic Disorders

What is it?

Psychotic disorders also referred to as psychoses, are a category of severe mental disorders associated with abnormal thinking and false perceptions. Psychosis involves significant disruptions to an individual’s thoughts and perceptions, making it challenging for them to discern between what is real and what isn’t.

Many factors may contribute to psychotic disorders. Commonly, psychoses are a symptom of an underlying mental health condition, such as:

  • Schizophrenia: A disorder that causes hallucinations, delusions, or both, lasting at least six months and severely limiting daily life and relationships.

  • Schizoaffective disorder: A combination of schizophrenia and a mood disorder, such as depression or bipolar disorder.

  • Short-term psychotic disorders: In some cases, a psychotic disorder’s symptoms may last less than six months. Usually, these situations are induced by severe stress or a traumatic life event.

Symptoms include:

  • Hallucinations are when you see, hear, or feel something that isn’t there, such as:

    • Auditory hallucinations (hearing voices)

    • Unexplainable feelings or sensations

    • Seeing people or objects that are not there

    • Seeing distortions of reality

  • Delusions are powerful beliefs that are unlikely to be true and may be considered irrational to others, such as:

    • Believing that you are being watched

    • Believing that external forces are affecting your thoughts, behaviors, or feelings

    • Assigning significance to trivial events, remarks, or objects

    • Feeling that you have special powers, are an otherworldly being, or have a specific mission to complete

If left untreated, psychotic disorders can significantly negatively impact your life.  

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