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Brief psychotic disorder

Ramin Mojtabai, MD, PhD, MPH
Section Editor
Stephen Marder, MD
Deputy Editor
Richard Hermann, MD


Brief psychotic disorder is defined in DSM-5 as the presence of one or more psychotic symptoms with a sudden onset and full remission within one month [1].

Brief psychotic disorder is often a provisional or retrospective diagnosis with a substantial rate of recurrence and subsequent diagnosis of another psychotic disorder or affective disorder with psychosis. Symptom duration is one factor distinguishing brief psychotic disorder from schizophreniform disorder (one to six months) and schizophrenia (at least six months). Other disorders with psychotic features in the differential diagnosis include affective disorders, substance-induced disorders, psychosis due to a general medical condition and psychotic disorder, not otherwise specified (NOS).

This topic discusses brief psychotic disorder. The epidemiology, pathogenesis, course, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and treatment of other psychotic disorders are described separately. (See "Schizophrenia: Clinical manifestations, course, assessment, and diagnosis" and "Schizophrenia: Epidemiology and pathogenesis" and "Pharmacotherapy for schizophrenia: Acute and maintenance phase treatment" and "Psychosocial interventions for schizophrenia" and "Evaluation and management of treatment-resistant schizophrenia" and "Clinical manifestations, differential diagnosis, and initial management of psychosis in adults".)


Brief psychotic disorder is diagnosed based on DSM-5 diagnostic criteria, which require the disorder to last more than one day and less than one month [1]. An ICD-10 (International Classification of Diseases, 10th edition) criterion for overlapping conditions, acute and transient psychotic disorders, applies to psychoses with an acute onset and a duration of one to three months depending on subtype [2]. (See 'Diagnosis' below.)

Other terms have been used by European authors to describe psychotic syndromes which have an acute onset and remitting course, including bouffée delirantés (in French speaking countries) and cycloid psychosis (in German speaking countries).


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Nov 11, 2015.
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