Jun 6, 2019
Schizophrenia is a diagnosis of exclusion. Doctors and therapists need to be able to rule everything else out before they can land on schizophrenia as an official diagnosis. There are specific symptoms are known as “first-rank symptoms,” which we will cover later in the article, that will help with diagnosing patients (Schneider, 1959). Eighty-five percent of people with schizophrenia endorse these symptoms, but be wary of jumping to conclusions because they are not specific to schizophrenia and, in some studies, are also endorsed by bipolar manic patients (Andreasen, 1991).
DSM5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th ed.)
Schizophrenia is a clinical diagnosis made through observation of the patient and the patient’s history.
There must be 2 or more of the characteristic symptoms below (Criterion A) with at least one symptom being items 1, 2 or 3. These symptoms must be present for a significant portion of time during a 1 month period (or less, if successfully treated).
The patient must have continuous, persistent signs of disturbance for at least 6 months, which includes the 1 month period of symptoms (or less, if successfully treated) and may include prodromal or residual periods.
For a significant portion of the time since the onset of the disturbance, one or more major areas of functioning such as work, interpersonal relations, or self-care are markedly below the level achieved prior to the onset.
If the onset is in childhood or adolescence, there is failure to achieve expected level of interpersonal, academic, or occupational achievement.
A. Positive symptoms (presence of abnormal behavior)
3. Disorganized speech (eg, frequent derailment or incoherence)
4. Grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior
B. Negative symptoms (absence or disruption of normal behavior)
5. Negative symptoms include affective flattening, alogia, avolition, anhedonia, asociality.
Link to full episode: notes
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