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The term psychosis was first used in the medical literature by Ernest von Feuchtersleben in his textbook Principles of Medical Psychology (1847). Originally, the concept was defined broadly to include any impairment of the higher mental functions. Starting in the late 1800s, psychopathologists such as Emil Kraepelin, Eugen Bleuler, and Kurt Schneider began to differentiate specific psychotic disorders on the basis of their symptomatology and course. According to contemporary views, psychotic disorders are psychopathological conditions characterized primarily by profound disturbances in cognition, perception, emotion, and volition that result in severe psychosocial dysfunction, including inability to meet the demands of daily life, and impaired reality testing.


Psychotic disorders comprise literally scores of symptoms, many of which have a variety of distinct manifestations. The symptoms are not specific ...

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