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Case report
Acute transient psychotic disorder precipitated by Brexit vote

Abstract

A man in his 40s was brought to the accident and emergency department in an acute psychotic state, 3 weeks after the European Union referendum results in the UK were declared. His mental health had deteriorated rapidly following the announcement of the results, with significant concerns about Brexit. He presented as agitated, confused and thought disordered. He had auditory hallucinations, and paranoid, referential, misidentification and bizarre delusions. He recovered completely within 2 weeks after a brief admission and treatment with olanzapine. He had experienced a similar episode of much less severity 13 years previously after major work related stress which resolved completely within a few days. He was experiencing stress related to work and family prior to the current episode which could potentially have been a contributory factor. Political events can act as major psychological stressors and have a significant impact on the mental health of people, especially those with a predisposition to develop mental illness.

  • general practice/family medicine
  • psychiatry
  • psychotic disorders (incl schizophrenia)
  • public health
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