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    What Is a Psychotic Disorder?

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    Treatment

    Most psychotic disorders are treated with a combination of medications and psychotherapy, which is a type of counseling.

    Medication: The main type of drug that doctors prescribe to treat psychotic disorders are “antipsychotics.” Although these medicines aren’t a cure, they are effective in managing the most troubling symptoms of psychotic disorders, such as delusions, hallucinations, and thinking problems.

    Older antipsychotics include:

    Newer "atypical antipsychotics" include:

    Doctors usually first prescribe the newer ones because they have fewer and more tolerable side effects than older antipsychotics. Some of the medications are available by injection and only need to be taken once or twice a month. This can be easier to manage than remembering to take a daily pill.

    Psychotherapy: There are different types of counseling -- including individual, group, and family therapy – that can help someone who has a psychotic disorder.

    Most people with psychotic disorders are treated as outpatients, meaning they don’t live in institutions. But sometimes people need to be hospitalized, such as if they have severe symptoms, are in danger of hurting themselves or others, or can’t care for themselves because of their illness.

    Recovery

    Each person being treated for a psychotic disorder may respond to therapy differently. Some will show improvement quickly. For others, it may take weeks or months to get symptom relief.

    Some people may need to continue treatment for an extended period of time. Some, such as those who have had several severe episodes, may need to take medication indefinitely. In these cases, the medication usually is given in as low a dose as possible to minimize side effects.

    What Is the Outlook for People With Psychotic Disorders?

    The depends on the type of psychotic disorder and the person who has it. But these disorders are treatable, and most people will have a good recovery with treatment and close follow-up care.

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