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The Psychosis of Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders

Updated on April 30, 2011

The Psychosis of Schizophrenia

Psychosis or psychotic disorder is a condition in which people suffer from loss of contact with reality, usually including false beliefs about what is happening or who is one (delusions) and seeing or hearing things that aren't there (hallucinations). Psychotic disorders are severe mental disorders that cause abnormal thinking and perceptions. However, even the most severe psychotic disorders usually are treatable. Schizophrenia is one type of psychotic disorder.

The different types of psychotic disorders are listed below:

  • Schizophrenia: People with this illness have changes in behavior and other symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations that last longer than six months, usually with a decline in work, school, and social functioning.
  • Schizoaffective Disorder: People with this illness have symptoms of both schizophrenia and a mood disorder, such as depression or bipolar disorder.
  • Schizophreniform Disorder: People with this illness have symptoms of schizophrenia, but the symptoms last more than one month and less than six months.
  • Brief Psychotic Disorder: People with this illness have sudden, short periods of psychotic behavior, often in response to a very stressful event, such as a death in the family. Recovery is often quick, usually less than a month.
  • Delusional Disorder: People with this illness have delusions involving real-life situations that could be true, such as being followed, being conspired against, or having a disease. These delusions persist for at least one month.
  • Shared Psychotic Disorder: This illness occurs when a person develops delusions in the context of a relationship with another person who already has his or her own delusions.
  • Substance-induced Psychotic Disorder: This condition is caused by the use of or withdrawal from some substances, such as alcohol, cocaine or something alike, that may cause hallucinations, delusions, or confused speech.
  • Psychotic Disorder due to a Medical Condition: Hallucinations, delusions, or other symptoms may be the result of another illness that affects brain function, such as a head injury or brain tumor.
  • Paraphrenia: This is a type of schizophrenia that starts late in life and occurs in the elderly population.

Psychotic symptoms may include:

  • Disorganized thought and speech
  • False beliefs that are not based in reality (delusions), especially unfounded fear or suspicion
  • Hearing, seeing, or feeling things that are not there (hallucinations)
  • Thoughts that jump between unrelated topics (disordered thinking)

Difference between Psychosis and Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia

The victims of psychosis have what is called active signs. Those signs include hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, hearing voices, imagining things and thoughts and so on. These active signs usually present for about a maximum of 5 percent of the victim’s life.

Psychosis can be kept under control by antipsychotic medicines or by other means. But then the patient tends to suffer from post psychotic effects (this is true for the psychosis of schizophrenia also) that are called the negative symptoms such as depression, lack of motivation, lack of vitality, fatigue and so on.

People tend to confuse between Psychoses or what is also called a “Psychotic Disorders”, to “Schizophrenia”. In one word the schizophrenia is the disease or illness and the psychosis is the active manner of it. Listed below are some important points that will help you differentiate between psychoses from the negative symptoms of schizophrenia:

Self Control: In case of psychosis, the victim’s self control tends to be minimal. The ability to distinguish between right and wrong and to control movements and reactions is very low, while in case of the negative effects or symptoms of schizophrenia self control is like normal people.

Self Awareness: When going through psychosis, the self awareness of the patient tends to be minimal, while in negative effects of schizophrenia, the victim’s self awareness is as a normal person.

The Reality Distinction: When people suffer from psychosis, they usually can not differentiate between what happens for real to what is only in their mind as delusions or hallucinations. The ability to distinguish between what is real and what is not remains as a normal person when people suffer from the negative symptoms of the schizophrenia disorder.

The Duration: Psychosis usually tends to stay for a shorter period of time between few days to few weeks, while in schizophrenia the negative symptoms tend to stay in some level for entire life.


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    • angie ashbourne profile image

      angie ashbourne 6 years ago

      Hi! Good Hub! Alot of good information.

    • andycool profile image

      andycool 6 years ago from the U.S.

      Thanks "angie ashbourne" for stopping by and leaving a comment! - Andy

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