Brief Psychotic Disorder

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Brief Psychotic Disorder

Brief psychotic disorder, as its name implies, is a short, sudden episode with symptoms lasting for less than a month. A psychotic disorder causes a person to lose touch with reality. The person may experience hallucinations, delusions, unpredictable and irrational behavior and have incoherent speech.

A hallucination is characterized by a patient perceiving something that is not present. Hallucinations can be auditory, visual or tactile and the most common in psychiatric disorders is auditory hallucinations. Ingestion of substances such as PCP, LSD and mushrooms are known to cause visual hallucinations. A delusion is a belief held by a person even when confronted with facts that prove the belief to be false.

Sovereign Health of Arizona offers effective and evidence-based treatment programs for patients who have experienced a brief psychotic disorder.

Brief Psychotic Disorder Symptoms

  • Disorganized thinking
  • Speech or language that doesn’t make sense
  • Unusual behavior and dress
  • Memory problems
  • Disorientation or confusion
  • Changes in eating or sleeping habits, energy level or weight
  • Inability to make decisions

Anyone observing a person with a psychotic disorder will notice very strange behavior, but to the patient the symptoms are completely real.

Diagnosis Of Brief Psychotic Disorder

A doctor will carry out a physical examination and take a medical history. After ruling out any physical cause for the symptoms, a referral is usually made to a psychologist or other qualified clinician. These specialists use specially designed interview techniques and tools to evaluate a person for a psychotic disorder.

What Causes Brief Psychotic Disorder?

In most cases, the disorder is directly caused by a major stress or traumatic event such as witnessing a violent crime. Women who have experienced violence, rape, psychological abuse, the death of a loved one or a natural disaster may experience a brief psychotic disorder as a result. Soldiers returning from war may experience a brief psychotic disorder. A number of factors may create a vulnerability to develop brief psychotic disorder. A genetic link is suspected because the disease is more common in people whose family members have mood disorders such as depression or bipolar disorder. Another theory is that poor coping skills against stressful situation increase vulnerability.

Differential Diagnosis

Brief psychotic disorder is somewhat similar to PTSD except for the fact that it only lasts one month where as PTSD symptoms must occur long than one month duration. Additionally, PTSD symptoms do not exactly have a psychosis element but rather focus on flashbacks of the specific stressful event. Due to the similarity of symptoms between brief psychotic disorder and schizophrenia, some physicians believe brief psychotic disorder may be a forerunner of schizophrenia, but schizophrenia differs in the specific duration of symptoms as symptoms must last for at least six months in duration.

Epidemiology Of Brief Psychotic Disorder

Brief psychotic disorder is uncommon. It usually occurs in early adulthood, and people with personality disorders such as antisocial or paranoid personality disorder are more prone to the condition. Brief psychotic disorder affects males and females equally and occurs most commonly in the late teens to early 30s. Brain injury during childhood is thought to be a factor, as is hyperactivity of brain chemicals.

Sovereign Health Of Arizona

Sovereign Health’s women-only treatment center in Chandler, Arizona, specializes in the treatment of trauma and abuse. Patients are thoroughly assessed upon admission by our expert clinical staff, and a diagnosis will be made for any possible co-occurring conditions of trauma, such as depression or substance abuse. All conditions are treated concurrently in order to achieve the most successful outcome.

Our facilities throughout the U.S. are based on a philosophy that recognizes each patient’s unique circumstances by providing them with personalized treatment plans tailored to their specific treatment needs. Patients learn coping skills, equipping them with the tools they need to lead more productive lives and avoid relapse in the future.

Sovereign offers fun, therapeutic activities including equine therapy, art, yoga, meditation and exercise. Accommodations are in a quiet, upscale residential neighborhood, allowing patients to fully focus on their treatment and road to recovery. For additional questions, please call our 24/7 helpline.

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