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What is Brief Psychotic Disorder?

The symptoms of “brief psychotic disorder” are similar to those of schizophrenia; however, they last less than 1 month (but at least 1 day). Patients with this disorder can return to their baseline functioning after the disorder has resolved. If this disorder lasts longer than 30 days, then it is diagnosed as schizophreniform disorder or schizophrenia based on the duration of symptoms.

A diagnosis of brief psychotic disorder must rule out depressive or bipolar disorder with psychotic features, as well as psychosis due to the effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse or medication) or another medical condition.

Does substance abuse make Schizophrenia symptoms worse?

Yes. All drugs of abuse (other than tobacco), are associated with poor function in schizophrenia patients. Alcohol abuse increases risk of hospitalization and, in some patients, may increase psychotic symptoms. Studies show that individuals reporting high levels of cannabis use are at a sixfold increased risk of schizophrenia compared with nonusers. The use of amphetamines, cocaine and other illicit drugs have a marked ability to increase psychotic symptoms.

Mental Health Library Sources:

Information included in all topics of the Mental Health Library comes from the Desk Reference to the Diagnostic Criteria From DSM-5 and Kaplan & Sadock’s Concise Textbook of Clinical Psychiatry. Complete diagnostic and treatment information may be found within these publications.


Information within the Mental Health Library is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis purposes. Rather, it is provided as a public educational service to make people aware of mental health conditions. Please consult a qualified mental health professional for a diagnosis of any suspected mental health illness.

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