Types of psychotic disorders

Psychosis

Psychosis refers to a group of illnesses that affect the functioning of the brain to the point where someone experiencing psychosis is unable to distinguish what is real and what is not. Around two in one hundred people will experience a psychotic episode. The cause of psychosis is not fully understood but its onset is thought to relate to family history, experiencing stressful events and drug use.

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Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a type of psychosis that affects the normal functioning of the brain and interferes with a person’s ability to think, feel and act. Symptoms include confused thinking, delusions, hallucinations, low motivation and changed feelings. If treatment is not received, people with persistent symptoms can also experience psychosis. About one in one hundred people develop schizophrenia at some point in their life, with most people affected during their late teens and early twenties.

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Bipolar I

Bipolar is the term used to describe a set of ‘mood swing’ conditions. There are two general types of bipolar – bipolar disorder I and bipolar disorder II. Bipolar I is more severe, with people more likely to experience mania, have longer ‘highs’, and be more likely to have psychotic experiences. Bipolar disorder can commence during childhood but onset is most common during teens and early twenties.

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