How to spot a psychotic disorder | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 27, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:05 PM, October 27, 2019

How to spot a psychotic disorder

Psychotic Disorders are a group of mental health conditions that change your sense of reality. When you have these disorders, you might see and hear things that do not exist or believe things that are not true.

Scientists do not know exactly what causes psychotic disorders, but they have got some theories. Viruses, problems with how certain brain circuits work, extreme stress or trauma, and some forms of drug abuse may play a role in some people.


If you have this condition, you might have hallucinations, which means you hear voices or see things that are not real. You could also have delusions - strong beliefs in things that are not true.

Schizoaffective disorder:  This condition mixes symptoms of schizophrenia with a mood disorder - mania or depression. If you have the depressive type, you often feel sad and worthless. If you have the bipolar type, you have periods of mania - racing thoughts and extreme happiness.

Schizophreniform disorder:  It has the same symptoms as schizophrenia, but they are temporary. Hallucinations and delusions last between 1 and 6 months, although sometimes your symptoms can return later. It most often affects teens and young adults.

Brief psychotic disorder: When someone has it, they suddenly get symptoms like hallucinations and delusions. One possible trigger is extreme stress after things like an accident or the death of a loved one. If you are a woman, it can happen after you give birth. Usually, your symptoms go away on their own within a month.

Delusional disorder: In this condition, you have a false sense of reality about one or more of your beliefs. For instance, you might think a friend is plotting to kill you or your partner is cheating. These false beliefs start to affect your everyday life. For example, if you think someone is going to harm you, you might be afraid to leave the house.

Shared psychotic disorder: It is a rare condition where two people in a relationship have the same untrue belief. For example, a mother and son might both think they are about to be abducted by aliens.

Substance-induced psychotic disorder: When you start or stop certain drugs, you may get substance-induced psychotic disorder. The symptoms include hallucinations and delusions. Drugs that can bring it on include alcohol, amphetamines, cocaine, marijuanaand sedatives etc.The symptoms should go away once you stop the drug or go through withdrawal. The condition can return if you take the drug again.

Disorder due to medical condition: Sometimes, symptoms that seem like a mental health disorder are actually due to a medical condition. Your psychotic disorder may start after a head injury or during one of these illnesses: Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia,brain tumour,HIV or AIDS,low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia), stroke and Parkinson’s disease etc.

Warning signs

The first symptoms can be hard to spot. You might not realise you have a problem right away. So see a doctor if you notice any of these changes:

·You cannot concentrate or think clearly.

·You are suspicious of people around you.

·You see or hear things no one else can.

·You pull away from loved ones and spend more time alone.

·You have strange new beliefs, and no one can convince you they are untrue.

How are they treated?

 You will have the best chance of recovery if you get treated during your first outbreak of symptoms. Your doctor may suggest medicine and talk therapy. Antipsychotic drugs can help ease hallucinations and delusions. Your doctor may prescribe antidepressants if you also have symptoms of depression, like despair and sadness.

Lean on friends, family members, your doctor and a support group in your community to help you get through treatment. Find out all you can about your condition and what to expect. Take the time you need to recover. Do not try to push yourself too hard.

Source: WebMD

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