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Brief Psychotic Disorder


Carol Tamminga

, MD, UT Southwestern Medical Dallas

Last full review/revision May 2020| Content last modified May 2020

The symptoms of brief psychotic disorder resemble the delusions, hallucinations, or other psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia, but they last for a much shorter time (from 1 day to 1 month).


People with brief psychotic disorder have at least one of the following symptoms:

  • Delusions (false beliefs that people maintain against strong evidence)
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorganized speech
  • Very disorganized or catatonic (immobile or unresponsive) behavior

Doctors diagnose brief psychotic disorder if the person's symptoms last less than 1 month and another disorder does not better account for symptoms. Other disorders that can produce similar symptoms include adverse drug effects, medical problems such as a brain tumor or temporal lobe epilepsy, schizophrenia, and schizoaffective disorder.

Treatment of brief psychotic disorder is similar to treatment of schizophrenia and requires a doctor's supervision and sometimes short-term treatment with antipsychotic drugs

Relapse is common, but people with brief psychotic disorder typically function well between episodes and have few or no symptoms.

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