Issues and debates in the diagnosis of Schizophrenia


Issues with subtypes

  • No overlapping symptoms- It may be argued that each subtype is a different condition as individuals suffereng from the same condition may have no common symptoms. However, the effectiveness of treatment suggests that all symptoms come from the same source and are, therefore, part of the same condition. 
  • Undifferentiated- Also known as the 'rag bin'. Some patients may have completely different combinations of symptoms.
  • Residual type- May not be ethical to label someone as Schizophrenic when they no longer show symptoms. This may cause occupational difficulies as it is not considered a socially desirable condition. However, it may be argued that the patient may relapse and the label can be used for cautionary measures.


An individual who suffers from multiple conditions. Sim et al (2006) found that 32%, out of a sample of 142 hospitalised schizophrenics, showed additional mental disorders. This 32% were less aware of their condition and showed poorer responses to treatment.

This occurs because some of the symptoms of Schizophrenia have overlapping symptoms with other disorders. For example, extreme negitivism overlaps with dipression. I patient may not be proparely diagnosed and are, therefore, not receiving an appropriate treatment.

Continuity approach

Diagnosis is based on a schizotypy score, measuring severity of condition, found using self-report techniques. There is no sharp line between suffering and not suffering from the condition. Whereas the catagorical approach, which suggests that patients are either Schizophrenic or are not Schizophrenic.This suggests that this method of diagnosis is not reliable.

However, diagnosing low schizotypy with Scizotypal personality disorder (mild for of Schizophrenia) may be an appropriately justified diagonsis. However, the blurred…




really helpful - the key terms of validity are really clear. Thanks 



So helpful, thank you!!!