Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders: Diagnosis

The process of diagnosing schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders can be particularly challenging as the differences between the psychotic disorders are subtle. The presence of psychotic symptoms does not inherently equate to the presence of a schizophrenia spectrum or other psychotic disorder. There are five key domains used to define psychosis: (1) hallucinations, (2) delusions, (3) disorganized thought/speech, (4) disorganized/abnormal motor behavior (which includes catatonia, i.e., a disruption in psychomotor activity, which can include stupor or lack of motor activity), and (5) negative symptoms. The key features that must be attended to when conducting a differential diagnosis are the specific type and number of symptoms and signs of psychosis (and how many domains they fall under) as well as the duration of these signs ...

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