Can bipolar disorder make me psychotic?

Sometimes, severe episodes of mania or depression include symptoms of psychosis (or psychotic symptoms). Common psychotic symptoms are hallucinations (hearing, seeing, or otherwise sensing the presence of things not actually there) and delusions (false, strongly held beliefs not influenced by logical reasoning or explained by a person's usual cultural concepts).

Psychotic symptoms in bipolar disorder tend to reflect the extreme mood state at the time. For example, delusions of grandiosity, such as believing one is the president or has special powers or wealth, may occur during mania; delusions of guilt or worthlessness, such as believing that one is ruined and penniless or has committed some terrible crime, may appear during depression. People with bipolar disorder who have these symptoms are sometimes incorrectly diagnosed as having schizophrenia, another severe mental illness.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
YES!! Bipolar disorder can make you psychotic and start believing or even seeing things that are not real. These psychotic symptoms worsen your existing symptoms, especially during a manic episode. For example, you could start thinking you’re Paris Hilton, Barack Obama, or even The Hulk. If you are depressed, you may even think you have committed a crime or ruined your life in some way. Talk to your doctor as soon as possible if you are experiencing these symptoms. There are treatments available that can help.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.