Psychotic Disorders List

Download our free Psychotic Disorders List as a helpful reference tool based on the diagnostic criteria outlined in the DSM-5.

By Gale Alagos on May 15, 2024.

Fact Checked by RJ Gumban.

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What are psychotic disorders?

Psychotic disorders are a group of serious mental health conditions that involve alterations in a person's thoughts, perceptions, and behaviors that significantly deviate from reality. These disorders are characterized by the presence of psychotic symptoms, such as delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, and grossly disorganized or abnormal motor behavior (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).

Delusions are fixed, false beliefs that are firmly held despite contradictory evidence. Hallucinations involve sensory experiences without an external stimulus, such as hearing voices or seeing things others cannot perceive. Most of these are included in the schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5).

It's important to note that psychotic symptoms can be highly distressing and can significantly impair an individual's ability to function in various aspects of life, including work, relationships, and self-care.

Printable Psychotic Disorders List PDF

Download this Psychotic Disorders List to outline the various types of mental health disorders characterized by the presence of psychotic symptoms.

Common symptoms of psychotic disorders

Common symptoms of psychotic disorders can be divided into two main categories: positive symptoms and negative symptoms.

Positive symptoms refer to specific experiences or behaviors not typically present in healthy individuals. These symptoms represent an excess or distortion of normal functions. Certain psychotic disorders involve common positive symptoms, including:

  • Delusions: Fixed, false beliefs that are not based in reality, such as paranoid delusions (beliefs of being persecuted or conspired against) or bizarre delusions (beliefs that defy natural laws).
  • Hallucinations: Sensory experiences without an external stimulus, such as hearing voices, seeing objects or people not present, or experiencing unusual tastes or smells.
  • Disorganized speech: Incoherent or nonsensical speech patterns, often jumping from one topic to another in an illogical manner.
  • Grossly disorganized or abnormal motor behavior: Bizarre or purposeless movements, such as repetitive gestures or postures.

Negative symptoms, on the other hand, refer to the absence or reduction of certain behaviors or experiences typically present in healthy individuals. These symptoms represent a deficit or loss of normal functions. Common negative symptoms include:

  • Diminished emotional expression: A flat affect or lack of emotional responsiveness.
  • Avolition: A lack of motivation or ability to initiate and persist in goal-directed activities.
  • Alogia: Poverty of speech, characterized by brief and empty responses.
  • Anhedonia: An inability to experience pleasure from typically enjoyable activities.
  • Social withdrawal: A tendency to isolate oneself and avoid social interactions.

Types of psychotic disorders

A range of psychotic disorders can manifest uniquely but also share critical symptoms like hallucinations, delusions, and distorted thinking. Here, we delve into the specifics of some of these conditions:

Brief psychotic disorder

This disorder involves a sudden onset of at least one psychotic symptom, such as delusions, hallucinations, or disorganized speech, lasting for a brief period of 1 day to 1 month. After the psychotic episode, the individual returns to their previous level of functioning.

Shared psychotic disorder

Also known as folie à deux, this disorder occurs when a person develops delusions that are initially induced and shared by another individual with an already-established psychotic disorder.

Schizoaffective disorder

A combination of psychotic symptoms, such as delusions or hallucinations, and symptoms of a mood disorder, such as depression or mania, characterizes this disorder. The individual experiences both psychotic and mood episodes, either concurrently or in succession.

Schizophreniform disorder

This disorder involves the presence of psychotic symptoms, similar to those seen in schizophrenia, but for a shorter duration of at least one month but less than six months. If the symptoms persist beyond six months, the diagnosis may be changed to schizophrenia.

Delusional disorder

In this mental disorder, the individual experiences one or more non-bizarre delusions, which are false beliefs that could potentially occur in real life, such as being followed or being deceived by a spouse. Hallucinations and disorganized speech are typically absent.

Substance-induced psychotic disorder

This disorder involves psychotic symptoms, such as delusions or hallucinations, that are directly caused by the effects of a substance, such as drugs of abuse or certain medications, or by the effects of another medical condition, such as neurological disorders.

It's also important to note that psychotic symptoms can also present in other mental health conditions, such as bipolar disorder. Another mental health disorder is schizotypal personality disorder, a condition characterized by odd or eccentric patterns of behavior and cognition, which can sometimes involve brief psychotic episodes but is now considered to be under personality disorders.

What is a Psychotic Disorders List?

A Psychotic Disorders List is a comprehensive guide that outlines the various types of mental health disorders characterized by the presence of psychotic symptoms, such as delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, and grossly disorganized or abnormal motor behavior.

This list serves as a valuable resource for healthcare practitioners. It provides a detailed overview of the different psychotic disorders, their diagnostic criteria, symptoms, and other relevant information. It helps professionals accurately identify and differentiate these conditions.

The Psychotic Disorders List typically includes conditions such as:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Brief psychotic disorder
  • Delusional Disorder
  • Schizoaffective Disorder
  • Schizophreniform Disorder
  • Substance/medication-induced psychotic disorder

Each mental illness in the list includes a comprehensive description outlining the specific symptoms, onset, duration, and other diagnostic features. This information equips healthcare practitioners with the knowledge to make accurate diagnoses and develop effective treatment plans tailored to the individual's needs.

How does our Psychotic Disorders List template work?

Our Psychotic Disorders List template is designed to be a comprehensive and user-friendly resource for mental health professionals when working with clients who may have a possible psychotic disorder. The following steps can be taken to make the most of this reference tool:

Step 1: Familiarize with the template's content

Each psychotic disorder is listed separately, with dedicated sections for disorder name and classification, diagnostic criteria, symptom overview, and additional relevant information.

Step 2: Use the list as a reference

When assessing a patient, refer to the relevant disorder section. Scan the symptom overview and diagnostic criteria to compare against the patient's presentation.

Step 3: Document accordingly

Make notes on the patient's specific symptoms, duration, and severity. Compare these against the diagnostic criteria to determine if a diagnosis can be made.

Step 4: Plan for next steps

Outline a preliminary treatment plan based on the diagnosis (if applicable). This plan may involve medication, therapy, or a combination of interventions.

Step 5: Incorporate notes

Jot down any significant observations, patient's self-reported experiences, or other related information that might be outside the standardized template in the notes section. This can provide further context for understanding the patient's condition.

Benefits of using this list

Using our Psychotic Disorders List can offer several benefits for mental health professionals:

Comprehensive reference

This comprehensive list covers various psychotic disorders, their diagnostic criteria, symptoms, and additional relevant information. Having all this data consolidated in one place can save time and effort when researching or referencing these conditions.

Improved diagnostic accuracy

Carefully reviewing each disorder's diagnostic criteria and symptom overviews helps healthcare practitioners make more accurate diagnoses. This can lead to better treatment planning and improved patient outcomes.

Enhanced understanding of psychotic disorders

The additional information sections provide insights into onset, course, prevalence, and risk factors, which can deepen the understanding of these complex conditions.

Common treatments for psychotic disorders

Treating psychotic disorders often involves a combination of approaches tailored to the individual's needs. Here are some common methods used to treat psychotic disorders:

Antipsychotic medication

Antipsychotic medications are typically the first-line treatment for psychotic disorders. These medications work by blocking or reducing the effects of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in the development of psychotic symptoms. Antipsychotics can help alleviate symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized thinking (Stahl, 2013).


Various forms of psychotherapy can be beneficial in conjunction with medication. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help individuals identify and modify distorted thought patterns and behaviors associated with psychotic disorders. Family therapy can educate and support family members, improving their understanding and ability to cope with the challenges of these conditions.

Psychosocial interventions

Psychosocial interventions focus on improving daily functioning, social skills, and overall quality of life. These may include supported employment programs, social skills training, and psychoeducation to help individuals better understand and manage their condition.

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)

In some cases, ECT may be recommended for individuals with severe or treatment-resistant psychotic symptoms. ECT involves administering controlled electrical stimulation to the brain while the patient is under general anesthesia.


For individuals experiencing acute psychotic episodes or who may be at risk of harming themselves or others, hospitalization may be necessary. Inpatient treatment and mental health services can provide a safe and structured environment for stabilization and medication management.

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Psychology Software


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.).

Stahl, S. M. (2013). Stahl's essential psychopharmacology: Neuroscientific basis and practical applications (4th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

Is schizophrenia the same as a psychotic disorder?
Is schizophrenia the same as a psychotic disorder?

Commonly asked questions

Is schizophrenia the same as a psychotic disorder?

Schizophrenia is a type of psychotic disorder, but not all psychotic disorders are schizophrenia. Other types include schizoaffective disorder and brief psychotic disorder.

What causes psychotic disorders?

The causes are multifaceted and can include genetics, brain chemistry, substance use, and environmental stressors such as trauma.

How do you help someone experiencing a psychotic episode?

Stay calm, offer support without agreeing with delusions, remove any threats or overwhelming stimuli, and seek immediate professional help if needed.

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