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Brief Pyschotic Disorder

Brief Psychotic Disorder is a seemingly random and temporary episode of bizarre behavior, hallucinations or delusions (as commonly seen in Schizophrenia) lasting longer than one day, but less than a month. While the person will only be affected for a short period of time, the symptoms are very serious and can be terrifying to close friends and family. A brief psychotic disorder usually follows a traumatic life event, serious stress or occasionally a pregnancy. The episode lasts anywhere from one day to one month but will eventually end in a complete recovery. At the time the disorder takes place, a sufferer will be unable to reason with their psyche and will require outside help to seek medical treatment.

Symptoms of Brief Psychotic Disorder

The person experiencing brief psychotic disorder always has one or more “positive” psychotic symptoms. The psychotic symptoms are not “positive” in the everyday sense of something being good or useful, but rather a normal type of behavior is experienced in its most extreme form. Positive symptoms of psychosis include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Strange bodily movements or lack of movements (catatonic behavior)
  • Peculiar speech and bizarre or primitive behavior

Causes of Brief Psychotic Disorder

Brief psychotic disorder is not a simple or consistent disorder with a single cause. Many clinicians have come to think of brief psychotic disorder as being the precursor to a lengthier psychotic disorder such as Schizophrenia. Other studies have shown that temporary psychotic reactions are a result of severe stress or postpartum depression. Persons with personality disorders also appear to be more susceptible to developing brief psychotic reactions in response to stress.

Treatment of Brief Psychotic Disorder

As mentioned earlier, treatment methods vary from person to person. There is no way to immediately halt a brief psychotic disorder or prevent the episode on the outset. However, early diagnosis will allow a family greater time to ensure a healthy, complete recovery. Treatment methods commonly involve hospitalization for the duration of the episode to keep the patient safe and well supervised. Medications such as prescription anti-psychotics, and psychotherapy are often used in tandem to help treat the disorder. Psychotherapy can usually help a patient recall the events that may have triggered the episode and help them find a way to better cope with the potentially stressful situation in the future.

While a brief psychotic disorder may not be a life long issue, it still requires proper treatment in order to prevent any permanent mental or physical damage to the person. This disorder is undoubtedly frightening on the outset but it is important to remember that the episode is incredibly likely to end in a complete recovery. This disorder may only be temporary but still deserves to be taken very seriously and you are encouraged to find the best brief psychotic disorder treatment available to you.

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