Fast Five Quiz: Schizophrenia Differential Diagnosis

Stephen Soreff, MD

Disclosures

August 11, 2020

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that affects how people think, feel, and perceive. The hallmark symptom of schizophrenia is psychosis. Psychosis is defined as a break with reality and includes such symptoms such as experiencing hallucinations and delusions (fixed false beliefs and ideas). Hallucinations are false sensations. Auditory hallucinations are most common in people with schizophrenia; other types of hallucination include visual, taste, smell, and tactile sensations.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition, (DSM-5), to meet the criteria for diagnosis of schizophrenia, the patient must have experienced at least two of the following symptoms: delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, disorganized or catatonic behavior, or negative symptoms. At least one of the symptoms must be the presence of delusions, hallucinations, or disorganized speech. Continuous signs of the disturbance must persist for at least 6 months, during which the patient must experience at least 1 month of active symptoms.

Schizophrenia has a strong genetic component and is a serious, persistent, lifelong disorder that causes substantial impairments in functioning. However, schizophrenia is just one way in which psychosis can present; many other conditions can also produce psychosis.

How familiar are you with the differential diagnosis of schizophrenia? Test your knowledge with this quick quiz.

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