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About Schizophrenia

About Schizophrenia

DSM-5 Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders

  1. delusions,
  2. hallucinations,
  3. disorganized speech,
  4. disorganized or catatonic behavior, and
  5. negative symptoms.

In DSM-5, two of these five symptoms are required AND at least one symptom must be one of the first three (delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech) to be diagnosed with Schizophrenia.

Schizoaffective: Schizoaffective disorder forms a link between psychosis and mood. DSM-5 requires the mood episode be present for the majority of the illness.

Delusional Disorder: The requirement that delusions be non-bizarre has been removed. A “delusion bizarre type” specifier is available.

Differential Diagnosis – Delusional Disorder and OCD Delusional Belief Specifier

The formation of a new category of disorders called Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders. This new category of disorders includes Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and Hoarding Disorder (among others). These three disorders have a new specifier related to insight. The DSM-IV “with poor insight” specifier has been expanded to include good, fair, poor and absent/delusional insight. Therefore, Delusional Disorder has an exclusion criterion that specifies the symptoms cannot be better explained by OCD or similar disorder with absent/delusional insight. Delusional beliefs no longer automatically suggest a psychotic disorder. They must be carefully evaluated to determine if another disorder can better account for the delusional beliefs.

Quick Facts About Schizophrenia

  • Schizophrenia can be found in approximately 1.1% of the world’s population, regardless of racial, ethnic or economic background
  • Approximately 3.5 million people in the United States are diagnosed with schizophrenia and it is one of the leading causes of disability.
  • Three-quarters of persons with schizophrenia develop the illness between 16 and 25 years of age.
  • The disorder is at least partially genetic.
  • To be diagnosed as having schizophrenia, one must have associated symptoms for at least six months.
  • Studies have indicated that 25% of those having schizophrenia recover completely, 50% are improved over a 10-year period, and 25% do not improve over time.
  • Treatment and other economic costs due to schizophrenia are enormous, estimated between $32.5 and $65 billion annually.
  • Between one-third and one-half of all homeless adults have schizophrenia.
  • 50% of people diagnosed with schizophrenia have received no treatment.

To learn more, we invite you to view a presentation by Linda Whitten Stalters, APRN, BC, FAPA, SARDAA Board of Directors.