Psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia are chronic and severe mental disorders that affect how you think, feel, and behave on a regular basis. People with schizophrenia may seem like they have lost touch with reality. Although schizophrenia is not as common as other mental disorders, the symptoms can be very disabling. An imbalance in the chemical reactions of the brain involving the neurotransmitters dopamine, glutamate and possibly others, plays a role in schizophrenia.

Symptoms of schizophrenia usually start between age of 16 and 30. In rare cases, schizophrenia can be diagnosed in children under the age of 16. The brain undergoes major changes during puberty, and these changes could trigger psychotic symptoms in people who are vulnerable due to genetics or brain differences. Some experts also think problems during brain development before birth may lead to faulty connections.

What are the types of psychotic disorders?


Patients with this condition experience changes in behavior, delusions and hallucinations that last longer than six months.

Schizophreniform disorder

When a patient has psychotic symptoms that last fewer than six months, they are diagnosed with schizophreniform disorder.

Brief psychotic disorder

When a person experiences short, sudden episodes of psychotic behavior, the condition is diagnosed as brief psychotic disorder. These episodes are typically in response to stressful life circumstances.

Delusional disorder

Delusional disorder refers to a condition in which an individual displays one or more delusions for one month or longer. It is distinct from schizophrenia. It cannot be diagnosed if you’re possibly living with schizophrenia.

Psychotic disorder due to another condition

When psychotic disorder symptoms are a result of illnesses that affect the function of the brain, such as a brain tumor, you could be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder due to a medical condition.

Substance Induced Psychotic Disorder

When psychotic symptoms are a result of licit or illicit substances that affect the function of your brain, you could be diagnosed with a substance induced psychotic disorder.