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How is brief reactive psychosis related to schizophrenia?

Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Medicine
Brief reactive psychosis causes symptoms similar to schizophrenia, but it is short-lived and often triggered by a stressful life event. While schizophrenia lasts for six months or more, brief reactive psychosis usually resolves itself within a few weeks. When people experience brief reactive psychosis, they may start acting odd, speak strangely, and experience delusions or hallucinations. Traumatic events, such as the death of a loved one, may cause this mental disorder, which is more common in people with personality disorders.

Sometimes, brief reactive psychosis may develop into severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Treatments for brief reactive psychosis are the same as for schizophrenia: antipsychotic medication and psychotherapy.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.