An introduction to psychotic disorders

By definition, a psychotic disorder is a chronic mental illness that requires long-term treatment, medication and sometimes hospitalization, in-patient care as well. This blog post will provide you information on different kinds of psychotic illness, their prevalence, signs and symptoms. Therefore, as soon as you identify them or feel them you can seek immediate medical assistance.

1)    Schizophrenia:

Schizophrenia is considered as one of the most severe forms of mental disorders. It requires long-term treatment. Medications as well as Psychotherapy, both are needed for its management and treatment. Its typical onset is around young adulthood and its global prevalence rate is about 0.3-0.7%. See below to find the different symptoms of schizophrenia:

Symptoms Meaning
Delusions Irrational belief about something. E.g: Limbs turning into stones, someone plotting against the person, thought broadcasting
Hallucination Sensing or feeling something without the presence of any apparent stimulus. E.g: Hearing voices, visual distortions
Flat Affect Lack of ability to express feelings and emotions
Physiological Disturbances Disturbances in sleep, appetite and major physiological functions
Avolition Lack of motivation to do something, even daily activities, hygiene etc are also hampered in this disorder

Other symptoms of schizophrenia include poverty of speech, social isolation, impairment in significant cognitive functions, paranoid delusions and so on. It can be caused due to genetic factors, situational factors, environmental factors, neurochemical disturbances in the brain, etc. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in immediate crisis, please contact your national emergency number or go to Befrienders Worldwide that offers crisis resources worldwide.

2)    Bipolar Disorder:

Bipolar disorder as the name suggests, is a disorder where mood swings between the two poles of depression and mania occur. Here is an illustration of symptoms during each stage:

Phase Symptoms Treatment Methods
Depression Phase Feelings of sadness, melancholy, dejection, social isolation, flat affect, lack of appetite, lack of motivation, insomnia, suicidal feelings, self harm etc. Medication, psychotherapy
Mania Phase Feelings of euphoria, drug and substance abuse, becoming overly extravagant and socially interactive, high energy levels, can harm self and others, high levels of voice, verbal abuse, can resort to anti-social activities,lack of sleep, increased appetite etc. Medication, chronic mania can require hospitalization and intensive in-patient care, psychotherapy

3)    Paranoia:

Paranoia is a delusional disorder. It means it is a disorder characterized by distorted thought process. Under the influence of paranoia you would experience strange irrational belief or delusions. I have mentioned about some common forms of delusions with their meanings below:

Delusion Meaning
Delusion of Grandeur or Grandiosity An irrational thought in which one feels to be a supreme human being or supernatural power. One claims to be a Prime Minister or God, Superman in this form of delusion.
Delusion of Persecution In this form of delusion one thinks as if everyone is trying to kill him or her.
Delusion of Reference This form of delusion suggests that one always thinks that others are talking about him/her.
Thought broadcasting  In this form of delusion they think that their thoughts are being broadcasted in News and information channels.

Paranoia can lead to serious problems like social isolation, fear, self-harm, harming others and even suicide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in immediate crisis, please contact your national emergency number or go to Befrienders Worldwide that offers crisis resources worldwide.

4)    Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD):

BPD is a personality disorder characterized by maladaptive personality and behavior in a person. Peolpe with BPD have a lot of trust issues. Due to this they can hardly believe in someone and stick to a relationship. They are more prone to drug and substance abuse too.

These were some of the common psychotic illnesses. The intention of writing this post was not to scare you, but to sensitize you and make you informed about these forms of mental illnesses. Gone are the days when people having mental health problems were subjected to social taboos and discrimination, when they were dumped in mental asylums without proper treatment and care. Today with the progress and advancement in medical science and technology, no matter how chronic or acute a disorder may be, it can be prevented, treated and managed. The best weapons we have so far are medications or psycho-pharmacological interventions, psychotherapeutic treatment, alternative therapies and so on. What is important is identifying them at the earliest and seeking treatment at the earliest.

Therefore, if you get a slight clue about these ailments within you or any of your near ones, do not step back in seeking immediate and proper treatment. There is a way out of every problem!

Best Wishes,

Sareeta

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