Psychotic disorders involve distorted awareness and thinking.
Two of the most common symptoms of psychotic disorders are hallucinations -- the experience of images or sounds that are not real, such as hearing voices -- and delusions, which are false beliefs that the ill person accepts as true, despite evidence to the contrary.
Schizophrenia is an example of a psychotic disorder.
Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia are similar, but different. Psychiatrists often see patients with a mixture of the above symptoms, and it may be difficult to determine whether a patient has schizophrenia or bipolar disorder even after following him or her for many years. Such patients may receive a diagnostic label of schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type.