Imagine losing your sense of reality. You see, hear, smell, feel or think things that nobody else does. Your behavior is negatively affected as well, as you struggle to decipher what’s real from what isn’t. Your loved ones can’t understand why you’re saying or doing certain things, and you start to drift away from them.

This is the reality of those affected by psychotic disorders. Included below are brief descriptions of some major psychotic disorders including schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, schizophreniform disorder, brief psychotic disorder, delusional disorder, substance-induced psychotic disorder, psychotic disorder due to medical conditions, and paraphrenia.


For your benefit, we’ve added links to sites  that contain more detailed information and/or relevant articles. As we’ve stressed consistently throughout the site, if you think you or someone you know is experiencing a psychotic disorder or any mental illness, seek help immediately.


  1. Schizophrenia

    • Serious condition that alters an individual’s entire character, from his/her thoughts, his/her emotions, his/her actions, and his/her their perception of reality.

  2. Schizoaffective disorder

    • Characterized by a combination of symptoms from schizophrenia and a mood disorder.

  3. Schizophreniform disorder

    • A temporary form of schizophrenia which lasts about one to six months in contrast to the regular schizophrenia which is chronic and incurable in nature

  4. Brief psychotic disorder

    • A sudden response, usually to a traumatic or stressful occurrence in which the individual displays psychotic behavior in the form of hallucinations, delusions, or disorganized thought. This condition will not persist and eventually subsides.

  5. Delusional disorder

    • A condition in which the most apparent symptom is delusion: a false belief in a given notion, which even if disproved, would not alter the sufferer’s thought process. Examples include delusions of control, delusions of jealousy, and delusions of grandeur.

    • When two individuals share a delusion, it is referred to as a shared psychotic disorder.

  6. Substance-induced psychotic disorder

    • Characterized by the experience of hallucinations or other psychotic symptoms that are the result of taking certain drugs and substances.

  7. Psychotic disorder due to another medical condition

    • Presentation of psychotic symptoms as the result of an injury to the head or a brain tumor

  8. Paraphrenia

    • The development of schizophrenia in elderly patients.









  1. Genetics/family history of psychotic disorder

  2. Influences from the environment

  3. Psychosocial influences

  4. Insufficiencies with neurotransmitters such as dopamine and glutamate as well as their respective receptors in the brain

  5. Problems that occur during prenatal brain development


General Symptoms

  1. Hallucinations

  2. Delusions

  3. Garbled language, sometimes referred to as “word salad”

  4. Inconsistent thinking

  5. Dangerous behavior

  6. A gradual detachment from activities and people that once stimulated interest

  7. Decreasing responsiveness

  8. Frustration, confusion, sadness, anger, etc.



  1. Medication

  2. Psychotherapy

  3. Getting educated on your condition, being aware of your difficulty distinguishing between what is real and what isn’t, and properly classifying the type of psychotic disorder you have by seeking the aid of a medical professional.


Sources/links we utilized

Credit: Crash Course Psychology