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What Are the Common Symptoms of a Psychotic Disorder?

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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 30 June 2018
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Psychotic disorders usually refer to several mental illnesses, like schizophrenia or a delusional disorder. In fact, delusions are one of the most common symptoms of a psychotic disorder, or psychosis. Hallucinations and disorganized thoughts may also be present during some psychotic disorders. The cause of these mental illnesses are often unknown, but genetics, stress, and chemical dependency may play a part. Treatment for a psychotic disorder often involves medication and therapy.

Delusions are one of the most common symptoms of a psychotic disorder. A delusion occurs when a person believes something that is either untrue or not proven. Paranoia is one of the best examples of a delusion. Individuals with paranoia often believe that they are being conspired against in some way.

Hallucinations also are symptoms of a psychotic disorder. A hallucination is a sensory perception without any type of outside stimulus. Hallucinations can be heard, seen, or felt.

Auditory hallucination are one of the most common types of hallucinations. Individuals dealing with these symptoms of a psychotic disorder will typically hear things that are not real. Hearing voices, for instance, is quite common with some patients. These voices may be rude or demanding. Some patients even claim that these voices will command them to perform certain unpleasant tasks.

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Visual hallucinations occur when a person sees something that is not there. Tactile hallucinations, on the other hand, refer to hallucinations that can be felt. One of the best examples of a tactile hallucination is the feeling of bugs crawling on one's skin. This is common with a psychosis brought on by substance abuse.

Disorganized thinking is another of the common symptoms of a psychotic disorder. This is often characterized by unusual or confusing thoughts. If these thoughts begin to manifest themselves through a patient's speech or writing, it is often known as a thought disorder. Completely incoherent or garbled speech is sometimes known colloquially as word salad.

The causes of psychotic disorders are not yet completely understood. Some of these disorders, like schizophrenia, may be the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain. Many medical experts now believe that some psychotic disorders are inherited. A psychotic disorder may also be brought on by extreme stress or a chemical dependency.

Treating a psychotic disorder often requires medications, like antipsychotics. Hospitalization may also be required for severe cases. Many patients will also benefit from certain types of therapy.

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Wisedly33
Post 2

My cousin is a police officer and he said they have special training on how to handle persons who may be in the middle of a psychotic break. He said they may act drunk or high at first, but if you treat them like you would a drunk, they will often become very, very agitated.

He said, for whatever reason, the most common delusions these people have are that they are God, or have been given some kind of mission from God, that the government is out to get them or that aliens have abducted them and/or taken over their bodies. He's been on the force for 20 years and said it just doesn't vary much from one of

those three categories. I don't know why that is, but that's what he has told me. He said in almost every case, when a family member is reached, they will say the person has schizophrenia or something similar, and won't take their medication.
Scrbblchick
Post 1

I work for a newspaper and this poor lady came into the office not long ago. She was clearly upset. She was asking how she could get the police to come to her house, that people had been inside her house. She said they were coming in at night through the basement and were beating her on the legs with laser beams.

We ended up calling an ambulance for her and my editor contacted her son. He said she was schizophrenic, wouldn't take her meds and was always delusional and having hallucinations.

I felt very sorry for the woman, because I know, to these people, the delusions and hallucinations seem absolutely real. She was obviously terrified and I felt such pity for her because I know she lives a miserable existence.

It's sad that she won't take her meds because her son said they do help her.

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