Psychotic Disorders

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Psychotic Disorders

Delusions and hallucinations are the most common outward symptoms of psychotic disorders. Antipsychotics, talk therapy, and sometimes hospitalization can help reduce symptoms.

Psychotic disorders are severe mental disorders characterized by a disconnection from reality and abnormal thoughts and perceptions.  With over 200,000 diagnosed cases in the U.S. per year, it is considered a common affliction and fortunately has effective treatments.  Two of the main symptoms of psychotic disorders are delusions and hallucinations, also characterized as losing touch with reality. Delusions are false beliefs (having paranoid thoughts, believing secret messages are being sent through the TV or radio, etc.) and hallucinations are false perceptions (experiencing, hearing, or seeing something that is not there).  Psychosis may occur as a result of a psychiatric illness such as schizophrenia, but it may also be induced by excessive alcohol and drug use, brain tumors, brain infections, or stroke.  

TREATMENT

A medical diagnosis is required in order to treat psychotic disorders, and oftentimes emergency care or hospitalization is required.  Medications, such as antipsychotics, and talk therapy are common treatments and can be effective immediately or within a few months. Antipsychotics are not a cure, but can help control delusions and hallucinations, and some may be taken as a once monthly injection instead of an easy-to-forget daily pill.