Signs, Symptoms, & Effects of Psychotic Disorders

Psychotic disorders are a group of mental health disorders, including schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, that make it difficult to understand reality. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), this is due to a disruption in thoughts, perceptions, and emotional expressions.

A psychotic disorder can make daily life difficult, negatively impacting relationships, employment, and overall happiness. By understanding the psychotic disorder signs and symptoms, you can begin to recognize when someone may need help.

Signs of Psychotic Disorders

Psychotic disorder signs can vary from person to person depending on the type of disorder and the severity. There are some common first signs that may indicate that you or someone you know may be suffering from a psychotic disorder.

Examples of psychotic disorder signs include:

  • Confused thinking
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling intense emotions or numbness
  • Lack of personal hygiene
  • Suspicious thinking or paranoia
  • Withdrawal from loved ones
  • Seeing or hearing things that are not there
  • Believing something despite not having any evidence

Symptoms of Psychotic Disorders

When a psychotic disorder is left untreated, psychosis can occur. During an episode of psychosis, the person who is suffering has thoughts and feelings that are disconnected from reality. This can be a scary experience that is disruptive to daily life.

Examples of psychotic disorder symptoms include:

  • Regularly seeing things that aren’t there
  • Hearing voices that aren’t real
  • Incoherent speech
  • Remaining in rigid positions for extended periods
  • Lack of verbal responses
  • Echoing what others are saying
  • Beliefs not connected with reality

Common Causes & Risk Factors for Psychotic Disorders

There are no known psychotic disorder causes. However, experts have determined several factors that may increase a person’s risk for developing one, including:

  • Family history of psychotic disorders
  • Personal history of mental health disorders
  • Complications during pregnancy or birth

Psychotic Disorder Statistics

The following psychotic disorder statistics are important to know:

  • According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 3 in 10 people will experience psychosis at some point in their lives.
  • Nearly 100,000 adolescents and young adults in the U.S. experience their first episode of psychosis each year, according to NIMH.
  • Someone who has a psychotic disorder may go more than a year without receiving care.

Potential Effects of Psychotic Disorders

Left untreated, psychotic disorders can have devastating consequences. The exact impact can vary from person to person, but some common psychotic disorder effects include:

  • Strained relationships
  • Difficulty maintaining employment
  • Financial hardship
  • Legal trouble
  • Homelessness
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Co-occurring mental health conditions
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Death by suicide

What Happens If Psychotic Disorder Symptoms Return?

For some, managing psychotic disorder symptoms will be a lifelong process. Luckily, with a mental healthcare plan, you can regain control of your symptoms and lead a more comfortable and fulfilling life.

If your psychotic disorder symptoms return, you should not see this as a setback but as an opportunity to continue the healing process. It is important to return to a mental health professional to determine the next steps in your psychotic disorder care. Receiving prompt mental healthcare can help minimize the distress caused by your symptoms.

Common Underlying or Co-Occurring Conditions

It is not uncommon for those who are struggling with a psychotic disorder to have another co-occurring mental health condition. Psychotic disorder symptoms can worsen other mental health conditions, so it is important to receive the right care for each.

By choosing Glenwood Behavioral Health Hospital, you can receive comprehensive care for a psychotic disorder in a safe and judgment-free environment. Our mental health professionals are here to help whenever you’re ready.

This content was written on behalf of and reviewed by the clinical staff at Glenwood Behavioral Health Hospital.

The team we have is phenomenal, with an extensive background from a myriad of mental health and substance use backgrounds.

– Glenwood team member