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A to Z: Mental Disorder, Non-psychotic

May also be called: Neurosis; Non-psychotic Psychiatric Disorder

A non-psychotic mental disorder is a condition of the mind that affects the way a person feels, thinks, or behaves without also causing psychosis (a sense of losing contact with reality).

More to Know

Mental disorders fall into two categories: psychotic (sy-KOT-ik) disorders and non-psychotic disorders.

  1. Psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, can cause delusions, hallucinations, and other symptoms of psychosis.
  2. Non-psychotic disorders, which used to be called neuroses, include depressive disorders and anxiety disorders like phobias, panic attacks, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Non-psychotic mental disorders are often less severe than psychotic ones. Symptoms depend on the particular disorder, but can include excessive worrying, trouble sleeping or concentrating, irritability, restlessness, feelings of worthlessness, suicidal thoughts, social withdrawal, lack of energy, obsessing over unimportant details, and behaving in a compulsive manner.

Non-psychotic mental disorders often are triggered by stressful events or times in someone’s life, such as the death of a loved one or a move to a new area. Treatment varies depending on the disorder and how it affects the mind. Common treatments include medications and counseling with a mental health therapist.

Keep in Mind

With the right care and a supportive environment, people can usually overcome most kinds of non-psychotic mental disorders and lead full, productive lives. In general, the earlier treatment is started, the more effective it will be.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.