Brief psychotic disorder is uncommon. Preexisting personality disorders (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:
Brief psychotic disorder is not diagnosed if a psychotic mood disorder, a schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia, a physical disorder, or an adverse drug effect (therapeutic or recreational) better accounts for the symptoms.
Differentiating between brief psychotic disorder and schizophrenia 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; supervision and short-term treatment with antipsychotics may be required.
Relapse is common, but patients typically function well between episodes and have few or no symptoms.