The Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders category of the DSM-IV-TR includes disorders which have psychotic symptoms as a dominant part of their presentation (American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed., text rev., 2000). Disorders in the Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders category include Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, Schizophreniform Disorder, Delusional Disorder, Shared Psychotic Disorder, Brief Psychotic Disorder, Psychotic Disorder due to a General Medical Condition, Substance Induced Psychotic Disorder, and Psychotic Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.
Schizophrenia should be differentiated from Mood Disorders with Psychotic Features because people with a Mood Disorder with Psychotics Features only express psychotic symptoms during a mood disturbance; whereas, people with Schizophrenia have psychotic features during the prodromal, active and residual phases of their episodes (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). Schizophrenia is also differentiated from Schizoaffective Disorder because someone with Schizophrenia has mood symptoms which are either brief when compared to the full duration of the disturbance, only occur during the residual or promordal phases, or do not meet the full criteria for a mood episode. Moreover, Schizophrenia is differentiated from Schizophreniform because the symptoms for Schizophreniform are present for one to six months; while people diagnosed with Schizophrenia have had the symptoms for a minimum of six months. Furthermore, Brief Psychotic Disorder is diagnosed when the symptoms have been present for one day to one month. Even though people with Delusional Disorder have delusions similarly to people with Schizophrenia, people with Delusional Disorder do not have accompanying hallucinations. Schizophrenia may be preceded by Paranoid Personality, Schizoid or Schizotypal Personality Disorders and an additional diagnosis of Schizophrenia might be warranted if criterion A is completely met.
As mentioned above, Schizophreniform is diagnosed when the symptoms are present from one month to six months; hence, Schizophreniform should be differentiated from Brief Psychotic Disorder which persists from one day to one month (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). Additionally, Schizoaffective Disorder is differentiated from Schizophrenia as aforementioned as well as from Mood Disorder with Psychotic Features. If the person’s psychotic symptoms are only present during a mood disturbance, then a diagnosis of Mood Disorder with Psychotic Features should be given. However, if the psychotic symptoms are present when the person does not meet the criteria for a mood disorder, then a diagnosis of Schizoaffective Disorder should be explored.
Delusional Disorder is characterized by delusions but not hallucinations. Delusional Disorder is differentiated from Schizophrenia and Schizophreniform Disorder because people with a Delusional Disorder do...