Fast Five Quiz: Schizophrenia Comorbidities

Stephen Soreff, MD


April 22, 2021

Because schizophrenia is a brain disorder that affects how people think, feel, and perceive, the distinction between ego-dystonic and ego-syntonic symptoms is a core difference between pure OCS and delusional ideas. Obsessive thoughts are frequently described as ego-dystonic, in which the person is able to recognize that the obsessive ideas are problematic or irrational, whereas in delusions, patients do not demonstrate the mental reflexivity of seeing the conflicting nature of their obsessions. Patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) will recognize that their thoughts and fears are, as they might describe them, "crazy." They have insight into their disorder and see their symptoms are ego-dystonic. Still, it is difficult for clinicians to identify obsessions in the presence of psychotic symptoms. Of note, patients exhibiting obsessions with poor insight may be mistaken for delusional.

In a large longitudinal study, first-degree relatives of patients with OCD displayed an increased risk for schizophrenia.

Learn more about complications of schizophrenia.


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