Psychotic disorders

Psychotic disorders are a group of mental illnesses that affect the mind. They make it hard for someone to feel, think, and behave appropriately. People with psychotic disorders have difficulty staying in touch with reality and are often unable to cope with daily life.

Schizophrenia symptoms usually start between the age of 16 and 30. In rare cases, schizophrenia can be diagnosed in children under the age of 16. The brain goes through major changes during puberty, and these changes may trigger psychotic symptoms in people who are vulnerable due to brain differences or genetics. Some experts also believe that problems during brain development before birth may lead to psychotic disorders.

Types of psychotic disorders

People with this illness experience changes in behaviour and other symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions that last longer than 6 months.

Schizoaffective disorder
This disorder includes symptoms of both schizophrenia and a mood disorder, such as bipolar disorder or depression.

Schizophreniform disorder
This order has symptoms of schizophrenia, but the symptoms last for a shorter time; between 1 and 6 months.

Brief psychotic disorder
People with this illness experience a sudden, short period of psychotic behaviour. The disorder is often in response to a very stressful event, such as a death in the family.

Delusional disorder
The key symptom is having a delusion involving a real-life situation that could be true but isn't. For example, they may believe they are being followed, being plotted against, or have a disease.

Substance-induced psychotic disorder
This condition is caused by the use of or withdrawal from drugs, such as hallucinogens and cocaine, that cause hallucination, delusions, or confused speech.