What Are Some Characteristics of Psychotic Behavior?

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Hallucinations and delusions are two of the primary symptoms of psychotic behavior, according to MedlinePlus. For example, an individual exhibiting psychotic behavior may hallucinate seeing, hearing or feeling something that does not exist or suffer from grandiose, somatic or paranoid delusions.

Individuals with grandiose delusions feel an exaggerated sense of importance, explains the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Somatic delusions cause healthy people to believe they have a terminal illness, and paranoid delusions cause people to believe others are against them.

Early-stage characteristics of psychotic behavior include anxiety, suspiciousness, depression, sleep changes and social withdrawal, states Healthline.com. Trouble concentrating and continuous abnormal beliefs and thoughts are additional signs of early stage psychosis. Characteristics of later-stage psychosis include suicidal actions and thoughts, trouble functioning, disorganized speech, hallucinations, and delusions.

The cause, specific symptoms and length of illness determine a person's psychotic disorder, indicates WebMD. For example, schizophrenia is characterized by hallucinations and delusions lasting more than six months and typically results in a work, school and social decline. The symptoms of schizophreniform disorder are the same as schizophrenia, except schizophreniform disorder lasts from one to six months. Schizoaffective disorder is when an individual exhibits characteristics of both schizophrenia and a mood disorder, such as depression.