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Psychotic Disorders: Types and Recovery

Written by
Dr. Vasantha K S
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Published on Apr 23, 2018 and last reviewed on Jul 21, 2020   -  4 min read


Psychotic disorder can be challenging and confusing. It takes great pain and effort for the family members to have a person with psychotic disorders. Read the article to know more about the different types of disorders and the ways in which they can be treated.

Psychotic Disorders: Types and Recovery

What Is a Psychotic Disorder?

Psychosis is not a disease in itself, but a symptom that accompanies various mental health conditions. The primary symptoms of psychosis include hallucinations (perceiving stimuli that do not exist), confabulation (filling gaps in memory by making false memories), and delusions (strong yet false beliefs about oneself or one's life). Based on the differences in duration, cause, and associated conditions, psychotic disorders can be classified into many types.

What Is a Hallucination?

Hallucinations involve the false realization of different senses which do not exist. It might involve hearing, smelling, feeling, seeing, or even tasting things that do not exist for real. The most common one is auditory hallucinations. The person starts hearing voices or weird sounds that have no source. Delirium and dementia are common visual hallucinations. The cause of getting hallucinations is being drunk or being high. Also, drugs like marijuana and cocaine may also be a reason.

What Is Confabulation?

A confabulation talk means it is a false speech given by the person. Confabulation is often distinguished from lying. A person who confabulates does not have the intention of cheating or manipulating. The person has no idea to deceive and also the person is totally unaware that the information is not true. Confabulation can also seem to be consistent, and apparently normal for the person. There are two types of confabulation:

What Is Delusion?

A delusion may be a firm or fixed belief. These beliefs cannot be changed with rational thoughts and arguments. These thoughts will not be aligned to a rational argument about cultural, regional, and educational background.

What Are the Types of Psychotic Disorders?

Schizophrenia: It is a mental health condition where symptoms of psychosis persist for more extended periods of time, that is, six months or longer. Even day-to-day routine may be affected. The cause may be due to genetic or environmental causes. There are many types of schizophrenia. The most common one among them is paranoid schizophrenia. Other types are:

Schizophreniform Disorder: A psychotic disorder is diagnosed as a schizophreniform disorder when symptoms have lasted less than six months. It may get cured in this period or prolong to be diagnosed as schizophrenia. So, both schizophrenia and schizophreniform both share similar symptoms. There will be distortion in a person’s emotions, thoughts, reality, and actions.

Bipolar Disorder: This condition is characterized by mood disturbances where the patient has alternating phases of elevated mood (mania) and low mood (depression). It is often misdiagnosed as a borderline personality disorder. It requires experts to find out the difference. After it is identified, the treatment can be planned accordingly. The exact cause of this disorder is not known. It might be due to many factors such as environment, genetics, and chemical alterations in the brain. There are four types of bipolar disorder. They are bipolar I, bipolar II, cyclothymic, and bipolar disorder due to any substances.

Schizoaffective Disorder: The person has mood disorders such as bipolar disorder or depression along with symptoms of schizophrenia. In this disorder, the psychotic symptoms may or may not be present especially at the time when a patient is experiencing depression and mania. It is a chronic medical health condition and it affects one in two hundred people at any point in time in their lives.

Brief Psychotic Disorder: It is a type of psychotic disorder where symptoms of psychosis are severe, but last for a comparably short period, frequently following a major life stressor such as being a victim of a crime or death of a close family member. It is commonly seen in teens and young adults. It is more common in males than in females.

Drug-induced Psychosis: It is also called toxic psychosis or substance abuse psychosis. In some instances, symptoms of psychosis can be seen in some due to the use of or withdrawal from substances of abuse. The substances which are commonly abused are alcohol, opioids, cocaine, and other addictive substances.Antipsychotics such as Haloperidol or Chlorpromazine might be advised to reduce acute psychotic symptoms. Magic mushroom is another commonly used hallucinogen.

Organic Psychosis: Organic psychosis is due to abnormal brain functions. This is a type where symptoms are related to physical trauma such as following a head injury. It can be associated with metabolic disorders. Stroke and infections in the brain can lead to organic psychosis.

What Is the Treatment Option?

Mental health conditions are more common than we believe. 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 quality of life of the individual as well as those around them. The primary mode of treatment for a psychotic disorder is with psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and medications.

Individual Therapy:

This will be conducted by a psychologist under the supervision of a psychiatrist. There will be a one on one session in which the individual will be asked to talk openly about their problems. This individual talk therapy will be a distress relieving session.

Also, a thorough understanding of the disease by the family and friends is a vital step in treatment as only then, it is possible to provide the necessary support, which is of utmost importance in recovery. So, psychotic disorders must be treated without being shied away from. The sooner the treatment is initiated, the better is the outcome we can expect. In severe cases, the patient will be asked to get admitted to the hospital for treatment.

Having a mental disorder is no more a taboo. With the increasing awareness in this modern era, do no fear of being judged. Call a doctor online for further information and help.

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Last reviewed at:
21 Jul 2020  -  4 min read




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