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  • Created by: Katie
  • Created on: 10-03-11 22:04

Classification and Diagnosis of Schizophrenia

SZ is a psychotic disorder characterised by the loss of contact with reality. It involves profound disruption of cognition and emotion but symptoms may come and go.

Clinical Characteristics

Under the DSM-IV-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders): SZ diagnosis requires at least one month duration of 2 or more positive symptoms.

  • Onset normally between mid-teens and early 30s.
  • Onset for women is 5-10 years later then for men: no adequate explanation for this.
  • Affects 1% of the UK population

Positive Symptoms

- Distortion of normal function

Delusions (bizarre beliefs, sometimes paranoid); hallucinations (auditory, visual and tactile); experiences of control (e.g. under the control of an alien force); disordered thinking (e.g. thought insertion or broadcasting).

Negative Symptoms

- Lack of normal function

Affective flattening (lack of emotion); alogia (poverty of speech); avolition (loss of ability to initiate action or goal-directed behaviour).

Issues of Reliability and Validity

Reliability – can scientists agree on who has it…


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