Diagnosis and classification of schizophrenia

  • Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder suffered by 1% of the population
  • It is more commonly diagnosed in men than women
  • More commonly diagnosed in cities than countryside 
  • More commonly diagnosed in working class than middle class people


  • The two major systems for classifying the mental disorder are:
    • The World Health organisation's international Classification of disease (ICD-10)
    • The American psychiatric association's diagnostic and statistical manuel (DSM-5)
  • These differ slightly in their classification of schizophrenia
  • DSM-5, one positive symptom must be present for diagnosis
  • ICD-10, two negative symptoms must be present
  • ICD-10 recognises a range of subtypes of schizophrenia:
    • Paranoid schizophrenia is characterised by powerful delusions and hallucinations
    • Hebephrenic schizophrenia involves primarily negative symptoms

Positive symptoms

  • Positive symptoms of schizophrenia are additional experiences beyond those of ordinary existence
  • Hallucinations:
    • unusual sensory experiences
    • some hallucinations are related to events in the environment, others bear no relationship to what thye senses are picking up from the environment
    • hallucinations can be experienced in relation to any sense
  • Delusions:
    • delusions are irrational beliefs
    • grandeur delusions
    • persecutory delusions
    • delusions involving believing that they are under external control
    • delusions can make a sufferer behave in ways that make sense to them but seem bizarre to others

Negative symptoms

  • Negative symptoms involve the loss of usual abilities and experiences
  • Avolition:
    • finding it difficult to begin or keep up with goal-directed activity
    • sufferers of schizophrenia often have sharply reduced motivation to carry out a range of activities
    • poor…


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