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Learning about Psychotic Disorders

Let’s talk about Psychotic Disorders

Around 3.5% of the population experiences psychosis. Psychotic disorders include symptoms of psychosis. Psychosis is a general term to describe a set of symptoms of mental health conditions that result in strange or bizarre thinking, perceptions, behaviors, and emotions.
It can be difficult for people with psychosis to determine what is real and what is not, greatly affecting their ability to function in everyday life. However, psychosis is a treatable condition with many treatment options available.


There are six different psychotic disorders: schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, schizophreniform disorder, delusional disorder, brief psychotic disorder, and schizotypal disorder. Each disorder comes with their own set of symptoms, but these are common symptoms that people with psychotic disorders can experience:

Hearing or seeing something that isn’t there

A constant feeling of being watched

Disorganized or bizarre speech of writing

Inappropriate or unusual behavior

Strange body movements or positioning

Feeling indifferent or numb about important situations

Deterioration of academic or work performance

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If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms, check your risk by taking our psychosis screening.


Treatment will vary depending on the type and severity of the disorder, but most treatments include psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of the two.

It is important to know that treatment for mental health conditions are tailored to the individual and the information presented here are just a few of the many different treatment options.


Psychotherapy is a form of treatment conducted by a trained and licensed therapist (i.e., psychologist, social worker, or counselor). The therapist provides a supportive environment for individuals to talk openly about their mental health condition(s) and emotional challenges with someone who is objective and non judgmental. There are many different types of psychotherapy, but in general the therapist and patient work together to identify the causes of their mental health condition, develop coping mechanisms, and challenge thinking and behavioral patterns.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

One of the most effective forms of psychotherapy is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This type of psychotherapy is based on the principles that mental health conditions derive from unhelpful ways of thinking and learned patterns of unhelpful behavior. Symptom relief occurs by individuals challenging and changing their thinking and behavioral patterns (American Psychological Association, 2017).


Antipsychotic medications are used to treat those with psychotic disorders. These medications help with symptom management. Like all medications there may be side effects, so it is important to talk to a medical provider, who can decide which medication works best for you and your symptoms (National Institute of Mental Health, 2023).

It is important to consult with a medical provider before taking any medications.

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Looking for information, tools or resources for mental health?

Visit our online resource library, where you’ll find tools and apps to support your mental health and wellness, information about mental health and common mental health conditions, on-demand videos and trainings, interactive tools to help you build wellness and safety plans, research and reports, resources for schools and workplaces, and much more!

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