Psychotic Disorders

Also known as: mental disorders, delusions, hallucinations.

What are psychotic disorders in children and teens?

Severe mental problems that interfere with a child or adolescent’s ability to think clearly, respond emotionally, communicate normally, have unusual perceptions (hallucinations), have delusions (a false, fixed, odd belief), understand reality and behave appropriately, are known as psychotic disorders.

Psychotic symptoms are seen in children and adolescents with schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder and some forms of alcohol and drug abuse.

What causes psychotic disorders?

Often, psychotic disorders are the result of a complex web of underlying genetic, hereditary, psychological, and environmental factors. Sometimes it’s secondary to an underlying medical condition like a brain tumor, brain infection, blood salt imbalance (and other metabolic disorders), seizure disorder and many others.

What are psychotic disorder care options?

Most youth will need multiple interventions to manage symptoms, comprehensive community programs, medications, psychotherapy, family support, vocational and rehabilitation assistance, specialized educational programs, inpatient and/or residential treatment.


Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: November 19, 2019 04:12 PM

Psychiatry for Children

The Pediatric Psychiatry team at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital uses a interdisciplinary and family-centered treatment approach for a variety of behavioral disorders and conditions.

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Weekly Support Programs

​F.O.C.U.S. Program

This program is currently suspended due to the pandemic. 8 week program. This group therapy program is designed for children ages 7 to 17 with behavioral issues, including but not limited to ADHD. The weekly sessions teach innovative techniques to assist children with managing feelings, developing organization skills, maximizing their concentration abilities and socialization skills. Learn more.

Social Skills Group

This program is currently suspended due to the pandemic. 8 week program. Children and teens ages 7 to 17 are invited to join this small discussion group to learn how to make, cultivate and maintain friendships. Participants will learn basic conversational skills, and discuss the use of appropriate humor, how to electronically connect with others, and how to manage disagreements. Learn more.

Calm Kids

8 week program. Calm Kids is a weekly group therapy course designed to teach children strategies on how to take control over anxiety symptoms. Children will learn how to cope with fears and worries, identify anxiety triggers, how to relax the mind and body and maximize their self-confidence. Learn more.

Pain Management Group

8 week program. This program is specifically designed to empower children ages 7-18 through complex sensory experiences. Each session is created to teach participants evidenced-based techniques to better manage pain and improve overall quality of life. Learn more.

Teen Sleep Group

The six-week program is designed for teens ages 12 to 17 experiencing difficulties related to sleep, including daytime sleepiness, trouble waking in the morning, difficulty falling asleep and waking in the middle of the night. The goal of this group is to give teens the tools and strategies they need in order to get more sleep and better quality sleep. Learn more.