What are psychotic disorders?

Posted by tmmaria on July 29th, 2019

The psychotic disorders are characterized by the presence of psychotic symptoms on the basis of their definition (unlike other disorders, such as depression, these symptoms may be present but are not essential to the diagnosis). Here you can know what is a psychotic break!


The schizophrenia lasts at least 6 months and includes at least 1 month of symptoms of the active phase, that is to say, two (or more) of the following:

Delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly disorganized behavior, or catatonic and negative symptoms (eg, emotional blurring, speech impoverishment, loss of will).

Schizophreniform disorder

The criteria for schizophreniform disorder are the same as schizophrenia with the exception of two differences:

  • The duration (1 to 6 months) is intermediate between that of the brief psychotic disorder (1 month, see below) and schizophrenia (at least 6 months).
  • The absence of a requirement of a deterioration of the functioning to make the diagnosis (although it can occur).

Schizoaffective disorder

In schizoaffective disorder, an episode of mood disorder (depressive or manic) and symptoms of the active phase of schizophrenia occur simultaneously and are preceded or followed for at least 2 weeks by delusions or hallucinations without mood symptoms (ie mood disorder) pronounced. In other words, the psychotic symptoms last longer than the symptoms of the mood disorder. This allows distinction with a mood disorder (depressive or manic episode) accompanied by psychotic symptoms. In schizophrenia, symptoms of a disorder

The delusional disorder

The delusional disorder is characterized by the presence during at least 1 month of non-bizarre delusional ideas (ie more coherent and plausible than in the schizophrenia) without other symptoms of the active phase of the schizophrenia.

The brief psychotic disorder

The brief psychotic disorder is characterized by the presence (not explained by a pre-existing mood disorder or schizophreniform disorder or schizophrenia), for more than one day but less than one month, of one (or more) the following symptoms: delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior.

Shared psychotic disorder

The shared psychotic disorder develops in a subject under the influence of a person who presents delusional ideas of similar content.

Psychotic disorder due to a general medical condition

Hallucinations or delusions are considered to be due to the direct physiological effects of a general medical condition (eg, brain injury, epilepsy, migraine, hyper- and hypothyroidism, adrenal insufficiency, hypoglycemia, liver or kidney disease, etc.). If the subject keeps a good apprehension of reality and recognizes that his hallucinations are the result of his medical condition, this diagnosis is not made.

Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder (Toxic Psychosis)

Hallucinations (whose subject is not aware that they are induced by a substance) or delusions are considered to be due to the direct physiological effects of a substance giving rise to abuse, a drug, or a drug. Exposure to a toxic.

Psychotic symptoms in other mental disorders

Psychotic symptoms may also be present in other disorders (eg in depression) but they are not the basis of the definition of these disorders.

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