Brief psychotic disorder is a mental disorder that is a short term illness. Unlike psychosis or other disorders, this type of disorder typically lasts for only a few days up to a month. The disorder occurs suddenly in a person, but does not last for very long.
In fact, soon after symptoms appear, a person suffering from a brief psychotic disorder will recover completely. There are three different types of brief psychotic disorders. The differences between each type depend upon what caused the symptoms to occur.
Brief psychotic disorder with stressor affects a person who has experienced overwhelming stress or trauma, which leads to the episode. The disorder without a stressor occurs spontaneously on its own. Postpartum onset occurs after a woman has delivered a baby, typically during the first month postpartum. According to the American Psychological Association, brief psychotic disorder is not common.
Symptoms – Brief Psychotic Disorder
The symptoms of brief psychotic disorder vary from patient to patient and can range from moderate to severe. Hallucinations and delusions are the two most common symptoms of this illness. These symptoms may be minor or extremely severe in some cases. There are other symptoms to look for with this disorder as well.
Many of the symptoms mimic those of depression or other types of disorders. This includes being unable to remember anything, eating more or less, sleeping more often, insomnia, or being unable to keep thoughts clear and organized. Although it is rare, extreme cases may lead to suicidal thoughts or actions, as well as harmful behavior towards others.
Although in some cases, brief psychotic disorder may occur suddenly, there are also factors that can contribute to a higher chance of developing this disorder. This illness is more likely to affect younger men and women who are in their 20s or 30s. Women are more likely to be struck with brief psychotic disorder than men.
Genetics may also play a role in who develops this disorder. Studies have found that those with a family history or who have suffered from such mental disorders as being bipolar or depressed are more likely to have an episode. Brief psychotic disorder that begins after the occurrence of a traumatic event is more likely than a spontaneous occurrence.
Doctors have been unable to find an actual cause for what sets off these types of episodes. Some studies suggest that brief psychotic disorder is a type of mental defense mechanism put in place by a person who does not want to face some type of traumatic or stressful event that they have recently faced in their life. There is no neurological or other explanation as to why the symptoms come and go so quickly.
There are no particular tests that doctors use to diagnose brief psychotic disorder. They will, however, perform a physical exam of the body, as well as a mental evaluation in many cases.
They may also perform several tests to rule out other causes that are bringing on the symptoms in the patient. Generally, a doctor can diagnose the problem by talking through the symptoms and onset of the occurrence with their patient.
After it is determined that a patient is suffering from brief psychotic disorder, his or her doctor will want to begin a course of treatment. Even though symptoms may be brief and may clear up on their own without any intervention, a doctor may opt to treat their patient to help speed up the process.
One of the most effective and most commonly used treatments for brief psychotic disorder is psychotherapy. This is especially effective for those who suffered through a traumatic event or childbirth that caused the symptoms to appear.
With psychotherapy, a patient speaks with a counselor about the problems that they are facing. With the help of a professional, the patient can begin to heal from the trauma that has affected their life, allowing them to get past the temporary episode.
Getting to the root of the problem can often help symptoms clear up, leaving the affected person feeling better about their self and able to face what it is that is bothering him or her.
Medications that treat psychosis may be used in more extreme cases or to help eliminate the symptoms that a patient is experiencing. Those who are also dealing with depression or anxiety due to the occurrence may also go on medication created to treat these problems.
In very rare cases, several episodes of brief psychotic disorder may lead a patient to be hospitalized for evaluation. This occurs when a person becomes extremely delusional or is deemed to be a threat to themselves or others. In the majority of cases, however, such extreme measures are not needed and most cases will clear up with the help of a counselor.
Brief psychotic disorder is not life threatening. The majority of cases of this illness clear up in less than four weeks, with symptoms completely disappearing with little to no treatment. However, it is important for anyone that is suffering from brief psychotic disorder to seek medical treatment immediately.
Not only will this allow his or her doctor to start treatment if needed to eliminate symptoms faster, but it is also important to rule out other disorders or diseases that could be causing the symptoms. In most cases, only one episode occurs, disappears, and never returns. It is extremely uncommon for a person to experience multiple cases of brief psychotic disorder in their lifetime.
If you or someone you know is experiencing the symptoms of brief psychotic disorder, it is necessary to visit your doctor as soon as possible. Although this disorder is only temporary, it is important to begin treatment so that you or your loved one can start healing immediately.
Although the disorder is not deadly, it can lead to other more serious disorders which may require more aggressive treatment if left untreated. Beginning treatment can allow a person suffering from brief psychotic disorder to discover what is truly bothering them, allowing them to face it head on and relieve the symptoms that they are experiencing.