Brief Psychotic Disorder

Brief Psychotic Disorder Behavior

Also known as brief reactive psychosis, the psychotic disorder describes a short term mental disorder. Usually it lasts less than one month. The onset of the psychotic symptoms is sudden and must not be caused by drugs, a physiological problem or a medical condition.

Also the symptoms should not be caused by schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or a delusional disorder. Symptoms are supposed to last at least one day and maximum one month. Then the patient will return to the normal functioning.

The disorder received more attention and was studied more in Scandinavia and other European countries. In United States this diagnosis was not that popular.

According to DSM 5, brief psychotic disorder belongs to the spectrum of schizophrenia.

Positive Psychotic Symptoms

The psychotic symptoms might include positive symptoms such as hallucinations, delusion, catatonic behavior, strange bodily movement, peculiar speech, primitive behavior, lack of movement, bizarre behavior or disorganized speech.

The medical meaning of the term positive is different from the normal everyday meaning. It means a person’s thought or behavior is changed or a normal behavior is experienced in an extreme form. Also it might involve a type of behavior that is not supposed to be present.


The affected person might experience sensorial perception of things that aren’t there. The person might hear voices, see things or feel sensations on the skin when nothing is actually there. Smelling smells that aren’t there is also pretty common for people with brief psychotic disorder.


A person with brief psychotic disorder tends to hold unrealistic and irrational beliefs which are very difficult to change even when eloquent evidence is presented to the affected person.

A person with brief psychotic delusion might think conspirators are out to get her or him.

Grandiose delusions and erotomaniac delusion are pretty common. Grandiose delusions involve exaggerated importance such as the belief of having an important function or being a famous person. Elaborated love fantasies might also be present and they might involve irrational jealousy and elaborate love fantasies.

Other Positive Psychotic Symptoms

Other psychotic symptom refers to many weird behaviors including the whole spectrum of catatonic behavior with both possible extremes. The motionless part of catatonia, known also as narcolepsy indicates a person that might freeze in a fixed position for hours. And the other extreme of catatonia refers to the persistent or rapid repeatedly movement or unusual movements.

Peculiar speech might include uttering sounds and words that make no sense or speaking a strange language. The affected people might also say the words in an incoherent order or mix words together.

Echolalia is another type of peculiar speech that might occur in people affected by brief psychotic disorder. Echolalia involves the repetition of someone else’s exact words and it might happen immediately after they were articulated or after a delay that might range from a few minutes to hours.

The bizarre behavior might involve child-like behavior, covering one’s own head with aluminum foil, singing, hoarding food or clothing with aluminum foil.

Other possible problems might also include confusion, memory problems, changes in weight or energy level, confusion, inability to make decisions, disorganized thinking and changes in sleeping or eating habits.

A person with brief psychotic disorder might exhibit one or more symptoms. The disorder is characterized by the sudden onset of the symptom, short duration and full recovery.