Brief psychotic disorder is uncommon. Preexisting personality disorders Overview of Personality Disorders Personality disorders in general are pervasive, enduring patterns of thinking, perceiving, reacting, and relating that cause significant distress or functional impairment. Personality disorders... read more (eg, paranoid, histrionic, narcissistic, schizotypal, borderline), as well as certain medical conditions (eg, systemic lupus, steroid ingestion), predispose to its development. A major stressor, such as loss of a loved one, may precipitate the disorder.
Patients with the disorder manifest at least one psychotic symptom for < 1 month:
Grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior
Brief psychotic disorder is not diagnosed if a psychotic mood disorder, a schizoaffective disorder Schizoaffective Disorder Schizoaffective disorder is characterized by psychosis, other symptoms of schizophrenia, and significant mood symptoms. It is differentiated from schizophrenia by occurrence of ≥ 1 episode of... read more , schizophrenia, a physical disorder, or an adverse drug effect Adverse Drug Reactions Adverse drug reaction (ADR, or adverse drug effect) is a broad term referring to unwanted, uncomfortable, or dangerous effects that a drug may have. Adverse drug reactions can be considered... read more (therapeutic or recreational) better accounts for the symptoms.
Differentiating between brief psychotic disorder and schizophrenia Schizophrenia Schizophrenia is characterized by psychosis (loss of contact with reality), hallucinations (false perceptions), delusions (false beliefs), disorganized speech and behavior, flattened affect... read more in a patient without any prior psychotic symptoms is based on duration of symptoms; if the duration exceeds 1 month, the patient no longer meets required diagnostic criteria for brief psychotic disorder.
Treatment of brief psychotic disorder is similar to treatment of an acute exacerbation of schizophrenia Treatment Schizophrenia is characterized by psychosis (loss of contact with reality), hallucinations (false perceptions), delusions (false beliefs), disorganized speech and behavior, flattened affect... read more ; supervision and short-term treatment with antipsychotics Antipsychotic Drugs Antipsychotic drugs are divided into conventional antipsychotics and 2nd-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) based on their specific neurotransmitter receptor affinity and activity. SGAs may offer... read more may be required.
Relapse is common, but patients typically function well between episodes and have few or no symptoms.
(See also Introduction to Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Introduction to Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders—brief psychotic disorder, delusional disorder, schizoaffective disorder, schizophreniform disorder, and schizotypal personality disorder—are characterized... read more .)