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.
Treatments and Therapies
- Brain Stimulation Therapies (National Institute of Mental Health)
- Coordinated Specialty Care Fact Sheet and Checklist (National Institute of Mental Health)
- Mental Health Medications (National Institute of Mental Health)
- Psychotherapies (National Institute of Mental Health)
- What Is Psychiatry? (American Psychiatric Association)
- Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)
- Genetics Home Reference: schizoaffective disorder (National Library of Medicine)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Psychotic Disorders (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Changing the treatment paradigm for Parkinson's disease psychosis with pimavanserin.
- Article: Bipolar and psychotic disorders in elite athletes: a narrative review.
- Article: Emotional intelligence and schizophrenia spectrum disorders: a critical review.
- Psychotic Disorders -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- American Psychiatric Association
- Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Services Locator (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
- National Institute of Mental Health
- Hearing Voices and Seeing Things (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry)
- Brief psychotic disorder (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Hallucinations (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Major depression with psychotic features (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Mental status testing (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Psychosis (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Schizoaffective disorder (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish