Psychotic Disorders

Psychotic disorders are a set of mental health disorders that cause abnormal perceptions and thinking.  People who experience psychosis lose touch with reality. Two symptoms that individuals experiencing psychosis are delusions and hallucinations. Delusions consist of false beliefs such as thinking that the FBI is out to get them, that the TV is communicating secret messages to them, or that they possess magical powers.  Hallucinations are false perceptions, such as hearing voices, seeing things that are not present, or feeling something that is not there.

Schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder are two types of psychotic disorders.  People with bipolar disorder may also experience psychosis.  The onset of psychotic disorders occurs in the late teens to early twenties in men and in the later 20’s to early 30’s in women. 

In psychosis, it is extremely important for a person who is newly diagnosed to receive education regarding the disease as opposed to just being handed medications.  Therapy is also strongly recommended as the individual may develop a sense of denial after being treated for psychosis. Medication non-adherence is the main reason that the individual may experience frequent hospitalizations throughout their lives as new episodes of psychosis occur.  It is also extremely important to not only treat the patient, but the family as a whole in order to ensure that there is adherence to the treatment regimen.  If adherence to the medication regimen is achieved, the individual will have a much better prognosis, may be able to hold an occupation, and can have a much better opportunity at a better quality of life.  

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