Information for Patients
Also called: Psychoses
Psychotic disorders are severe mental disorders that cause abnormal thinking and perceptions. People with psychoses lose touch with reality. Two of the main symptoms are delusions and hallucinations. Delusions are false beliefs, such as thinking that someone is plotting against you or that the TV is sending you secret messages. Hallucinations are false perceptions, such as hearing, seeing, or feeling something that is not there.
Schizophrenia is one type of psychotic disorder. People with bipolar disorder may also have psychotic symptoms. Other problems that can cause psychosis include alcohol and some drugs, brain tumors, brain infections, and stroke.
Treatment depends on the cause of the psychosis. It might involve drugs to control symptoms and talk therapy. Hospitalization is an option for serious cases where a person might be dangerous to himself or others.
- Brief psychotic disorder (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Hallucinations (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Major depression with psychotic features (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Mental status testing (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Psychosis (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Schizoaffective disorder (Medical Encyclopedia)
Schizoaffective disorder Schizoaffective disorder is a mental health condition that includes features of both schizophrenia and a mood disorder such as bipolar disorder or depression. The prefix "schizo-" refers to the psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia that affect a person's thinking, sense of self, and perceptions. The term "-affective" refers to extreme shifts in mood, energy, and behavior.Schizoaffective disorder has a wide range of signs and symptoms that make it challenging to diagnose. Its features overlap significantly with those of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and there is debate about whether schizoaffective disorder should be considered a separate diagnosis or a subtype of one of these other conditions.Signs and symptoms of psychosis in people with schizoaffective disorder include false perceptions called hallucinations, such as hearing voices no one else can hear or experiencing visions, smells, or tactile (touch) sensations. Strongly held false beliefs (delusions) are also a characteristic feature. For example, affected individuals may be certain that they are a particular historical figure or that they are being plotted against or controlled by others.There are two major types of schizoaffective disorder, based on which mood disorder is involved: the bipolar type and the depressive type. The bipolar type includes both dramatic "highs," called manic episodes, and "lows," called depressive episodes. The depressive type includes only depressive episodes. Manic episodes are characterized by increased energy and activity, irritability, restlessness, an inability to sleep, and reckless behavior. Depressive episodes are marked by low energy and activity, a feeling of hopelessness, and an inability to perform everyday tasks.The psychosis and mood problems associated with schizoaffective disorder usually become evident in adolescence or young adulthood. People with this condition often have difficulty functioning at school, at work, and in social settings. Disordered thinking and concentration, inappropriate emotional responses, erratic speech and behavior, and difficulty with personal hygiene and everyday tasks are also common. People with schizoaffective disorder have a higher risk of substance abuse problems and dying by suicide than the general population.