Psychotic disorders include severe mental conditions, which cause abnormal thinking and perceptions. People with psychoses can lose touch with reality, and often suffer from one or both of two main symptoms:
- Delusions. These are false beliefs, such as thinking that someone is plotting against the individual or the individual thinking that the television is sending them secret messages hidden in the programming.
- Hallucinations. These are false perceptions, which cause the individual to hear, see or even feel things that are not actually present.
Schizophrenia is one type of psychotic disorder. People with mood disorders such as bipolar disorder may have psychotic symptoms. Schizoaffective disorder (which is rarer than schizophrenia) can also be caused by a combination of mood problems and psychosis.
Other problems that can cause psychosis include alcohol and some drugs, brain tumors, brain infections, and even stroke. Treatment depends on the cause of the psychosis, and can include both talk therapy and/or medication to help control symptoms.