Brief Psychotic Disorder

Brief psychotic disorder, also known as brief reactive psychosis, is typically diagnosed in those in their late 20s or early 30s. Therefore, it is important to identify adolescents who may be at risk for developing teen psychosis symptoms. 

What is Brief Psychotic Disorder?

Brief psychotic disorder is a mental health condition characterized by sudden and short-term displays of psychotic behavior. Symptoms can last for as short a time as a day or as long as a month. Brief psychotic disorder does not necessarily indicate the presence of a chronic mental health condition. Rather, people usually recover completely from the psychotic episode and return to normal levels of functioning. However, such an episode is sometimes the first sign of a condition such as schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia, or a mood disorder.

Symptoms of this temporary psychotic break often look very similar to those of schizophrenia. Consequently, this behavior may include delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, catatonia, confusion, sudden and extreme mood changes, inability to care for oneself, and sleep problems. Moreover, a person suffering from brief psychotic disorder may have an increased risk of violent behavior or suicide.

Brief psychotic disorder causes are typically major stresses or trauma, such as a traumatic accident or loss of a loved one. Women are more likely than men to develop brief psychotic disorder, and pregnancy can also set off the symptoms. Genetic, biological, environmental, and/or neurological factors may contribute. Treatment typically includes medication followed by short-term psychotherapy to help a person understand and recover from this psychotic disorder and learn tools for coping with stress.

Sources: Psychology Today, Psych Central, Child Mind Institute 

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