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Psychotic Affective Disorders - Types and Management

Published on Mar 17, 2023   -  4 min read


Affective disorders, such as major depression and bipolar disorder, can manifest with psychotic symptoms. Read below to know more.


Affective disorders are psychiatric disorders, also called mood disorders. Depression and bipolar disorder are the main types of affective disorders. Symptoms of this disorder vary from person to person and can vary from mild to severe. The diagnosis of the affective disorder is made by a psychiatrist or other trained mental health professional with a psychiatric evaluation.

Such disorders can be disruptive to our life. However, there are effective treatments available for psychotic affective disorders, including both medication and psychotherapy.

What Are Psychotic Affective Disorders?

Psychotic-affective disorder is characterized by symptoms such as hallucination, depression, mania, or delusion. The severity and duration of symptoms vary from one to another. This disorder affects functioning at school, work, or other places. The affected individual may respond well to treatment, but the symptoms do not resolve within a month.


Hallucinations are the sensory experience created by the brain that feels real. Hallucinations can affect all five senses, leading to hearing different sounds, visualizing an image, or a person that nobody else in the room hears or sees. Hallucinations are the sensory experiences a person feels even when not present; hallucinations can be classified as auditory, visual, sensory, etc., resulting from underlying medical conditions like schizophrenia, epilepsy, and alcohol withdrawal. Treatment for hallucinations is mainly based on treating the cause of the disease. However, family and friends play equally important roles during the treatment by guiding a person to cope.


Depression has been recorded in the annals of history since time immemorial, but never has it assumed so much significance as it has in today's world. With the advent of technology today, human society is evolving by leaps and bounds with every passing day. As the saying goes, ''every coin has both sides,'' and so does this evolution. In the underbelly of this progress lies the advent and increased prevalence of physical and psychological illnesses. Both physical and psychological illnesses are part of a vicious cycle in which the presence of one can lead to the emergence of the other. One of the most common examples is the prevalence of depression in diabetic patients and vice versa.

According to statistics provided by WHO (World Health Organization), depressive disorders are predicted to be the major cause of mortality and morbidity in the world in the next three years. It remains one of the most undiagnosed and undertreated illnesses; the major reason is the lack of awareness and knowledge among the masses and the stigma attached to psychiatric illnesses. Epidemiologically speaking, depression affects one in twenty persons and occurs more in females than in males. It can be categorized as exogenous, that is, occurring due to some external or environmental stress, and endogenous, which means occurring internally without any outside cause, leading to an imbalance of neurotransmitters (brain chemicals), predominantly serotonin, whose level is lowered.


Mania, also called manic syndrome, is a behavioral disorder in which individual experiences unexplained delusion, intense mood swings, rapidly changing emotions, hyperactivity, hallucinations, illusions, and euphoria. In addition, the individual suffering has periods or episodes of atypical emotions and energy levels. These atypical levels are often high and uncommon concerning the usual self-level. Mania is a life-threatening condition as people suffering from mania develop sleeping and eating disorders, which may have long-lasting complications and be fatal.

The individual might even develop self-harming behaviors. Manic episodes are a common symptom of bipolar disorder. An individual suffering from mania has a higher chance of experiencing hallucinations and perceptual disturbances. Often, mania is perceived as a mirror image of depression. The heightened mood swings are either classified as euphoric or dysphoric episodes. As the severity of the episodes intensifies, it can either result in anxiety or anger.


Delusion is a state of fixed false belief in which a person abides in things that are untrue or contrary to reality. In simpler words, the art of misconception or misperception resulting from incorrect reasoning. Delusional disorder is a mental or psychotic disorder of experiencing one or more delusions that typically impair judgment. People with the disorder could not differentiate between the imaginary and reality. On the other hand, people could socialize normally and be as highly functional as others. And they do not behave strangely or weirdly except for the theme of delusions. Delusional disorders can be bizarre or non-bizarre.

  • A bizarre delusion is a belief in circumstances that can never happen in reality. For example, one can fly along with birds eventually.

  • Non-bizarre delusion is a belief in situations that can ever happen to him. An example includes Being harmed by a lion in the forest.

How to Manage Psychotic Affective Disorders?

Medication and psychotherapy are the two effective treatments for psycho-affective disorders. Treatment usually implicates a combination of both. Antidepressant medications can help relieve the symptoms without too many side effects. Psychotherapy, in addition to medication, is also a vital part of treatment. It can help by learning to cope with the disorder and conceivably change behaviors that contribute to it. In addition to combination therapy, supplemental methods may be used to help treat some types of depression. These include vitamin D supplements and light therapy. Specialized lamps provide light therapy.

The doctor may also suggest certain lifestyle changes, regular exercise, a consistent sleep schedule, and a healthy diet to manage the disorders. These can help to complete the medical treatments but should not replace them.


Affective disorders or mood disorders are quite common. Unfortunately, people often hesitate to consult a mental health specialist due to the social stigma attached to it. But, with proper guidance, care, and follow-up, mental disorders can also be successfully treated, thus improving the individual's quality of life and those around them. The primary mode of treatment for a psychotic disorder is psychotherapy and medications.

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17 Mar 2023  -  4 min read




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