Fast Five Quiz: Schizophrenia Presentation and Diagnosis

Stephen Soreff, MD


August 09, 2019

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, at least two of these symptoms must be present for a significant amount of time over a 1-month period for a patient to meet the criteria for a diagnosis of schizophrenia:  

  • Delusions

  • Hallucinations

  • Disorganized speech

  • Disorganized or catatonic behavior

  • Negative symptoms

In addition, at least one of the symptoms must be delusions, hallucinations, or disorganized speech. Moreover, symptoms of schizophrenia must be present for a substantial portion of time during a 1-month period, and the patient's level of functioning in one or more major areas of life (eg, work, interpersonal relationships, self-care) must be substantially below the level achieved prior to the onset of symptoms.

Negative symptoms or disorganized or catatonic behavior may be absent in patients with schizophrenia; such patients, however, still might meet the diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia. A patient would meet the criteria for a diagnosis of schizophrenia with the presence of at least two of those symptoms.

For more about the diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia, read here.


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