Brief psychotic disorder is characterized as psychotic symptoms that appear suddenly but last for a very short time. The suddenness of symptoms as well as the intensity of symptoms can be confusing to both that suffer from the disorder as well as the people that love them. Although, psychotic symptoms appear quickly, those with the disorder usually recover completely. Brief psychotic disorder can appear as a result of intense stress (family illness or death, increased work demands, etc.), change or reaction to medication, brain tumor or cysts, etc.

Brief Psychotic Disorders: Three Forms

  • Brief psychotic Disorder with no apparent stressors
  • Brief Psychotic Disorder with obvious stressors (work, recent death, trauma, etc.)
  • Brief psychotic disorder with postpartum onset (occurs only in women shortly after giving birth.

Symptoms of Psychosis Include:

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased suspicions
  • Social isolation/ social withdrawal
  • Erratic behavior
  • Disorganized speech (word salad)
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Intense feelings that someone is out to harm or kill him/her
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Depressed mood
  • Disorientation or confusion
  • Indecisiveness
  • Changes in eating and sleeping habit

The exact cause or trigger for brief psychotic disorder remain unknown. Although, we are aware stress can play a significant role in the development of psychotic symptoms, specific stressors, degree of stress, individual response to stressors, physical health, family history, substance use, etc., can also play a role in the development of psychotic symptoms. Earlier research conducted on brief psychotic disorder suggest there is a genetic link between the disorder and familial history of mood or other psychotic disorders. It should be noted, individuals that suffer from personality disorder are more likely than those without a personality disorder to experience brief psychotic disorder.

Treatment for brief psychotic disorder can include individual psychotherapy, hospitalization, medication, or a combination of all three. Medical professionals might prescribe antipsychotic drugs to ease or eliminate the symptoms related to the suffers psychosis, reducing anxiety, providing them with the opportunity to manage symptoms related to the disorder.

Although, there is no way to prevent brief psychotic disorder, there are ways to treat the disorder and manage symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment can help the sufferer regain control over his/her life.