Chapter 11 – Schizophrenia
Psychosis: the inability to differentiate from what is real and what is unreal. It can take
many forms and has many causes.
Schizophrenia: Most common psychotic disorder – disorder consisting of unreal or
disorganized thoughts and perceptions as well as verbal, cognitive, and behavioural
deficits. Symptoms vary, for example people with this disorder can think and
communicate clearly but at other times their thinking and speech can be garbled.
Psychotic Disorders recognized by DSM-IV-TR
SchizophreniaAt least one month of acute symptoms of delusions,
hallucinations, disorganized thought and speech,
disorganized behaviour and negative symptoms and at least
six months of some symptoms of disorder
Schizophreniform disorderSame symptoms as schizophrenia, lasting more than one
month but less than 6 months
Schizoaffective disorderSymptoms of schizophrenia coinciding with symptoms of
depression or mania but at least a 2 week period when only
symptoms of schizophrenia present
Delusional disorderEvidence only of non-bizarre delusions of at least 1 month’s
duration; functioning at relatively high level
Brief psychotic disorderPresence of delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech
or behaviour for at least one day but less than one month
Shared psychotic disorderThe individual in a close relationship with someone who is
delusional with similar delusions
Hallucinations or delusions caused by the direct
physiological effects of a substance
Significant portion of patients with schizophrenia are in jails/prisons, shelters, hospitals,
etc. It is one of the most stigmatized disorders
Two categories of symptoms include –
Positive symptoms: also called type I symptoms, are characterized by the presence of
unusual perceptions, thoughts, or behaviours. Positive refers to the fact that these
symptoms represent very salient experiences.
Negative symptoms: or Type II symptoms represent losses or deficits in certain domains.
They involve absence of behaviours, rather than presence of behaviours.
Positive Symptoms –