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.
There are different types of psychotic disorders, including:
People with this illness have changes in behavior and other symptoms — such as delusions and hallucinations — that last longer than 6 months. It usually affects them at work or school, as well as their relationships. Know the early warning signs of schizophrenia.
People have symptoms of both schizophrenia and a mood disorder, such as depression or bipolar disorder. Learn more about the symptoms of schizoaffective disorder.
This includes symptoms of schizophrenia, but the symptoms last for a shorter time: between 1 and 6 months. Find out more on schizophreniform disorder symptoms to look for.
Brief psychotic disorder:
People with this illness have a sudden, short period of psychotic behavior, often in response to a very stressful event, such as a death in the family. Recovery is often quick — usually less than a month. Get more information about the different forms of brief psychotic disorder.
Delusional disorder The key symptom is having a delusion (a false, fixed belief) involving a real-life situation that could be true but isn’t, such as being followed, being plotted against, or having a disease. The delusion lasts for at least 1 month. Read more on the types of delusions.
The main ones are hallucinations, delusions, and disordered forms of thinking.
Hallucinations mean seeing, hearing, or feeling things that don’t exist. For instance, someone might see things that aren’t there, hear voices, smell odors, have a “funny” taste in their mouth, or feel sensations on their skin even though nothing is touching their body.
Delusions are false beliefs that don’t go away even after they’ve been shown to be false. For example, a person who is certain their food is poisoned, even if someone has shown them that the food is fine, has a delusion.
Other possible symptoms of psychotic illnesses include:
- Disorganized or incoherent speech
- Confused thinking
- Strange, possibly dangerous behavior
- Slowed or unusual movements
- Loss of interest in personal hygiene
- Loss of interest in activities
- Problems at school or work and with relationships
- Cold, detached manner with the inability to express emotion
- Mood swings or other mood symptoms, such as depression or mania