Reactive Psychosis

In 1913, Karl Jaspers described specific criteria for the diagnosis of reactive psychosis, including the presence of an identifiable and extremely traumatic stressor, a close relation between the stressor and the development of psychosis, and a generally benign course for the psychotic episode.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) describes brief psychotic disorder based primarily on duration of symptoms. DSM-IV defines brief psychotic disorder as an illness lasting from 1 day to 1 month, with an eventual return to the premorbid level of functioning.[1]

The diagnosis has been better appreciated and more completely studied in Scandinavia and other western European countries than in the United States.

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