The 8 types of psychotic disorders

the psychotic disorders they are serious psychopathologies in which the person loses contact with reality. The most characteristic symptoms are hallucinations and delusions.

Delusions are defined as false beliefs. That is, mistaken beliefs of reality about an existing fact or object. They are a distortion of an external stimulus. For example, a patient with delusions may think that someone is following him because there is a conspiracy against him.

Instead, hallucinations are false perceptions, such as hearing, seeing, or feeling something that doesn’t actually exist. These perceptions are invented by the mind and are not the product of the distortion of a present object, for something is perceived without regard to external stimuli. For example, a patient with schizophrenia may think they are talking to you through a shower drain.

Delusions are characteristic of delusional disorder, while hallucinations predominate in schizophrenic disorder. The two psychopathologies are the most well-known psychotic disorders, but there are also less popular ones.

Types of psychotic disorders

According to the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV), the following psychotic disorders exist:


Schizophrenia is a disorder in which the sufferer has hallucinations and disturbing thoughts that isolate them from social activity. Schizophrenia is a very serious pathology and its treatment requires the use of drugs so that the patient does not suffer from epidemics. Although there is no cure, there are effective treatments available so that patients with this disorder can enjoy their lives.

Symptoms of schizophrenia are divided into positive and negative. The former are manifestations that the patient has or experiences, and that healthy people usually do not have. Negative symptoms are things that the patient stops doing and that healthy people can do on a daily basis, such as thinking fluently and logically.

Positive symptoms

  • hallucinations
  • delirium
  • Disorganized thoughts
  • Disorganized behavior Catatonia

Negative symptoms

  • Lack of interest or initiative
  • apathy
  • Social withdrawal or depression
  • Lack of emotional response

Types of schizophrenia

There are different types of schizophrenia:

  • paranoid schizophrenia: This is the most common. Predominance of delusional ideas.
  • hebephrenic schizophrenia: Predominance of emotional disorders. For example, the patient laughs for no reason.
  • catatonic schizophrenia: Characterized by motor disorders. With persistent immobility, although it may alternate with a fit of restlessness.
  • undifferentiated schizophrenia: When schizophrenia does not meet the criteria for the above types or has multiple symptoms of the above types at the same time.

Delusional disorder

Delusional disorder, also known as paranoia, is characterized by the patient has one or more delusions and is convinced that they are true. For example, when you walk through a mall you think some people (that you don’t even know) are watching – to send information to someone who intends to end it. There are several types of delusional disorder depending on the nature of the delirium (for example, delusional persecution disorder).

When it comes to treatment, patients tend to resist and often tend to hide delirium, which is known as “encapsulated delirium”. Treatment includes psychotherapy and the use of antipsychotics.

Brief psychotic disorder

As the name suggests, it is a psychopathology in which a psychotic attack may appear with the same symptoms as a schizophrenic disorder, but it lasts a few days and it never affects the patient again. Therefore, it disappears without leaving any sequelae. It is usually a response to a traumatic event such as the death of a family member or a time of extreme stress.

schizophreniform disorder

Schizophreniform disorder is similar to a brief psychotic disorder but lasts between 1 month and 6 months. the patients they have different symptoms of schizophrenia: Delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, catatonia and / or negative symptoms.

Schizoaffective disorder

In this type of psychotic disorder called schizoaffective disorder, the patient has symptoms of schizophrenia as well as symptoms of mood disorder, Either at the same time or alternately.

Shared psychotic disorder or “two-person madness”

Shared psychotic disorder has been a strange and unusual condition since there are two people who share the same delusions and hallucinations. The exact cause of this psychotic disorder is unknown; however, stress and social isolation can play an important role in their development.

Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder

This type of psychotic disorder it is characterized by intoxication due to the consumption of drugs or drugs. Symptoms usually appear quickly and last for a short time, from a few hours to several days, but the effects of the medication then wear off.

The most common symptoms are visual hallucinations, disorientation, and memory problems. Some substances that cause this disorder can be: marijuana, alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines, hallucinogenic inhalers, MDMA, opiates, sedatives, hypnotics and anxiolytics.

Psychotic disorder due to medical illness

Psychotic disorder caused by medical illness occurs when the symptoms of this disorder are the result of diseases that affect brain function (for example, a brain tumor).

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