The exact cause of psychotic disorders is unknown, but researchers believe that a number of factors play a role, including heredity and environmental factors. In some cases, there may be an abnormality in brain chemistry that can contribute to symptoms. Use of marijuana, methamphetamine, LSD, amphetamines and other drugs can increase the risk of developing psychotic disorders, particularly in younger people.
Certain illnesses, medications and neurologic conditions — such as a brain tumors, Parkinson’s disease and dementia — can cause symptoms. In those instances, psychotic symptoms can often be reversible.
Early Warning Signs of Psychotic IllnessSymptoms of psychotic disorders usually appear in people in their late teens through their 30s. People in their 40s or older who develop symptoms are more likely to have an underlying illness that’s causing the symptoms.
Common and early warning signs of psychotic illness include:
- Alarming decline in school or work performance.
- Difficulty thinking clearly or concentrating.
- Suspiciousness or uneasiness with others, and spending more time alone that usual.
- Increased sensitivity to sights or sounds, or mistaking noises for voices.
- Strange new feelings or lack of feelings.
- Overly intense or unusual new ideas.
- Decline in personal hygiene or self-care.
Sometimes, the early signs of psychotic illness can mimic the symptoms of depression or bipolar disorder.
Diagnosis and TreatmentOnce a underlying medical condition has been ruled out, most psychotic disorders are treated with a combination of medications — including antipsychotic, antidepressant and neuroleptic medications — psychotherapy and other techniques, depending on the individual.
At El Camino Hospital, our mental health professionals are specially trained to diagnose and treat psychotic disorders. We offer both inpatient and outpatient programs to provide all levels of care, including electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
Our multidisciplinary team of psychiatrists, specialized nurses, therapists and other mental health professionals delivers care with compassion and respect. Because psychotic illness affects the entire family, we provide education and support to you and your loved ones. Our mental health specialists are dedicated to helping individuals and families cope effectively with mental illness.
Talk to Someone
Inquire about services or get a physician referral. Our call-back and chat services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Contact a Program Specialist
To make an appointment, get information, schedule a free assessment or refer someone, call 866-789-6089 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.