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    What Is Brief Psychotic Disorder?

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    If someone has symptoms, their doctor will give them a checkup, talk to them about their health history, and give them tests If such as brain imaging (for instance, MRI scans) or blood tests to rule out other causes.

    The doctor may refer the person to a psychiatrist or psychologist. These mental health professionals use specially designed interview and assessment tools to evaluate a person for a psychotic disorder.


    Someone with brief psychotic disorder will probably get psychotherapy (a type of counseling), medication, or both. They may need to be hospitalized for a time if their symptoms are severe or if they might harm themselves or someone else.

    Psychotherapy is a type of counseling, or “talk therapy.” The goal is to help the person identify and handle the situation or event that triggered the disorder.

    Medication : The doctor might prescribe antipsychotic drugs to ease or eliminate the symptoms and end the brief psychotic disorder.

    The FDA hasn’t approved any medicines specifically to treat brief psychotic disorder. Doctors often prescribe antipsychotics that are used to treat schizophrenia. These include:

    • Chlorpromazine (Thorazine)
    • Fluphenazine (Prolixin)
    • Haloperidol (Haldol)
    • Loxapine (Loxitane)
    • Perphenazine (Trilafon)
    • Trifluoperazine (Stelazine)
    • Thioridazine (Mellaril)
    • Thiothixene (Navane)

    Newer medications, which doctors call “atypical antipsychotic” drugs, include:

    If someone with this condition is very anxious or has problems with sleep, their doctor may prescribe  tranquilizers such as diazepam (Valium) and lorazepam (Ativan).


    Brief psychotic disorder, by definition, lasts for less than 1 month, after which most people recover fully.

    It’s rare, but for some people, it may happen more than once.  

    If symptoms last for more than 6 months, doctors may consider whether the person has schizophrenia.

    Can Brief Psychotic Disorder Be Prevented?

    No, but early diagnosis and treatment can help get the person's life, family, and other relationships back on track as quickly as possible.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on November 21, 2015
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