The Psychotic Disorders are a group of disorders of the mind which affect how you think, feel and behave. Approximately 2.3% (1 in 50 people) of our local population has ever had a psychotic disorder in their lifetime.
They differ from one another in terms of the duration of symptoms and/or the types of symptoms which are present.
There may be a gradual change in you or a decline in your functioning before obvious symptoms begin. You may not be aware that something is wrong.
It is important to bear in mind that many different factors may be involved in the development of a psychotic disorder, and no one particular factor is in itself entirely causative.
There are no laboratory tests or scans which diagnose a psychotic disorder. The diagnosis is made based on a detailed interview with you (and can be supplemented by information from someone who knows you well), mental state examination, and excluding other possible causes of the symptoms where relevant. Your doctor will advise you if laboratory tests or a brain scan is necessary.
Early detection and treatment allow for better outcomes. It is possible for people with a psychotic disorder to make a full recovery.
Medication is an important first step in easing the most disturbing symptoms of the illness, and allows other aspects of treatment to occur.
Other important aspects of treatment include psychoeducation about the illness, counselling, psychotherapy to learn coping and stress management skills to prevent future episodes, and practical assistance with school, work and accommodation. Family support can be very useful as well.