What Is a Shared Psychotic Disorder?
Partly because shared psychotic disorders are rare, effective treatments are not well-established. Usually, treatment involves separating the person who has the shared psychotic disorder from the person who has the psychotic disorder.
Treatments for the person with the shared psychotic disorder might include:
Psychotherapy: This type of counseling can help someone recognize the delusions and get back to healthy thinking. This is often hard because a person with the delusional disorder may not be able to see the problems in their thinking. Psychotherapy also aims to ease emotional distress from the condition and the relationship with the mentally ill person.
Family therapy involves the family of the person who has the shared psychotic disorder. Goals may include boosting the person’s activities and interests, developing healthy social ties, and helping someone stick to their meds and get their life back on track.
Medication. If the symptoms continue even after separating the person from their contact who has a psychotic disorder, they may need to take antipsychotic medicines for a short time. Sometimes, doctors also prescribe tranquilizers or sedatives to ease intense symptoms such as anxiety, extreme restlessness, or insomnia.
What Can Happen
If they're not treated, shared psychotic disorders can become an ongoing problem. People with a delusional disorder often don't realize that they need treatment and may choose not to take prescribed medications.
But with treatment, a person with a shared psychotic disorder often may have a good chance for recovery.
Can Shared Psychotic Disorders Be Prevented?
No. The key is to diagnose and treat them as soon as possible so they do less damage to the person's life, family, and friendships.