Psychotic Disorders

Psychotic disorders are a group of serious illnesses that affect the mind. These illnesses alter a person's ability to think clearly, make good judgments, respond emotionally, communicate effectively, understand reality, and behave appropriately. When symptoms are severe, people with psychotic disorders have difficulty staying in touch with reality and often are unable to meet the ordinary demands of daily life. However, even the most severe psychotic disorders usually are treatable.

Symptoms of a psychotic disorder vary from person to person and may change over time. The major symptoms are hallucinations and delusions.

Hallucinations are unusual sensory experiences or perceptions of things that aren't actually present, such as seeing things that aren't there, hearing voices, smelling odors, having a "funny" taste in your mouth, and feeling sensations on your skin even though nothing is touching your body.

Delusions are false beliefs that are persistent and organized, and that do not go away after receiving logical or accurate information. For example, a person who is certain his or her food is poisoned, even if it has been proven that the food is fine, is suffering from a delusion.

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