Brief Psychotic Disorder

The symptoms of brief psychotic disorder resemble the delusions, hallucinations, or other psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia, but they last for a much shorter time (from 1 day to 1 month).

Individuals with brief psychotic disorder have at least one of the following symptoms:

  • Delusions (false beliefs that people maintain against strong evidence).
  • Hallucinations.
  • Disorganised speech.
  • Very disorganised or catatonic (immobile or unresponsive) behaviour.

Medical professionals diagnose brief psychotic disorder if an individual’s symptoms last less than one (1) month and another disorder does not better account for symptoms.

Other disorders that can produce similar symptoms include:

  • Adverse drug effects;
  • Medical problems such as a brain tumour or temporal lobe epilepsy;
  • Schizophrenia; and
  • Schizoaffective disorder.

Treatment of brief psychotic disorder is similar to treatment of schizophrenia and requires a medical professional’s supervision and sometimes short-term treatment with anti-psychotic drugs.

Relapse is common, but individuals with brief psychotic disorder typically function well between episodes and have few or no symptoms.