Brief Psychotic Disorder

  • Medical Author:
    Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, MD

    Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist. She is a former Chair of the Committee on Developmental Disabilities for the American Psychiatric Association, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and Medical Director of the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Brief psychotic disorder facts

  • Brief psychotic disorder is one of the conditions in the group of mental illnesses called the schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders.
  • Symptoms of brief psychotic disorder can include hallucinations and/or delusions, and they last no longer than a month.
  • The specific causes for brief psychotic disorder are usually not known, but it is thought to be due to a mix of inherited, biological, environmental, and psychological risk factors.
  • Mental-health-care professionals perform a mental-health interview and examination to assess for the presence of brief psychotic disorder and rule out medical or other mental-health problems.
  • Medications tend to be the mainstay of treating the symptoms of brief psychotic disorder, but cognitive behavioral psychotherapy can also help in recovery.
  • Most people with brief psychotic disorder only have one episode, but some will eventually develop a more chronic mental illness.
  • The prognosis of brief psychotic disorder is usually better than for other psychotic disorders.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy for the people with a number of risk factors for developing psychosis has been found to help prevent brief psychotic disorder.

What is a brief psychotic disorder?

Brief psychotic disorder is one of a number of mental illnesses that are referred to as schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders. Characteristics of this disorder may include hallucinations or delusions that last no more than one month. Studies show that a true brief psychotic episode that does not progress to another mental illness occurs in anywhere from one to four per 100,000 people, more commonly in women than in men. This illness usually develops in people 30-50 years of age, and an episode tends to last an average of 17 days. This differs somewhat from people who suffer from any first-time psychotic episode, which occurs in about 100,000 teens and young adults in the United States every year, has a peak onset between the ages of 15-25 years, and more commonly affects males versus females.

In addition to the more commonly known mental disorders like schizophrenia, other mental disorders in the schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders group includes schizotypal personality disorder, delusional disorder, schizophreniform disorder, schizoaffective disorder, catatonia, substance/medication-induced psychotic disorder, psychosis due to a medical condition, other specified schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorder, as well as unspecified schizophrenia spectrum, and other psychotic disorders. Besides catatonia, other catatonia-related disorders include catatonic disorder due to another medical condition, as well as unspecified catatonia.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/21/2016

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