Clinical Characteristics of Schizophrenia

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Schizophrenia is classified as a form of Psychosis by the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Psychosis is when the patient loses touch with reality.

Three categories of symptoms:

1. Positive

2. Negative

3. Disorganised

Positive Symptoms are distortions of normalcy. 

  • Hallucinations-bizarre, unreal perceptions of the environment. Can be auditory, visual, olfactory (smelling things) or tactile (e.g. feeling as though bugs are crawling on you).
  • Delusions-bizarre beliefs held by the patient that they insist are real, but are in fact unreal. (Delusions of grandeur-inflated sense of power and self-importance (e.g. believing you are Jesus)).
  • Disordered thinking-believing that thoughts are being inserted into or withdrawn from your own mind…

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