Information about psychosis

What forms (diagnoses) are there?

Each experience of psychosis is different. Furnishing an experience with a diagnostic label is not always helpful. For improved treatment planning, however, it is necessary for the person treating the sufferer to distinguish between various types of psychoses. These types are oriented to the cause, the predominant symptoms and the duration of the symptoms. It is clear however that there are crossovers and overlapping between these "categories". Despite all reservations against diagnoses it is helpful to be well acquainted with some of these diagnostic types. Only in this way can one reflect by oneself whether the diagnosis coincides with one’s own experiences.

Diagnosis according to ICD-10* Definition
Acute transient psychotic disorder (F23)

In this, psychotic symptoms occur mostly suddenly and frequently as a reaction to a great personal stress e.g. the death of a close relative or a difficult trauma. The symptoms are frequently very difficult however a quick recovery occurs in the case of most persons afflicted.

Schizophrenia-type disorder (F23.2)

The same criteria occur as in the case of schizophrenia only that changes in behaviour and symptoms last less than six months.

Schizophrenia (F20)

Describes a psychotic disorder, in the changes in behaviour and symptoms continue to exist for more than six months. The symptoms and the duration of the illness are individually very different. Unlike earlier assumptions, many persons afflicted live a happy and fulfilled life and many achieve a complete recovery.

Persistent delusional disorder (F22)

The main problem in this type of psychosis is a distinct set of delusional symptoms. Other symptoms only occur sporadically and in a milder form.

Schizoaffective disorder (F25)

The same criteria apply as in the case of schizophrenia, only that at the same time mood changes such a mania and / or depression occur. In comparison to bipolar disorders, schizophrenic symptoms also occur outside of manic and depressive phases.

Undifferentiated psychotic disorder
None of the above-mentioned diagnoses coincides with the clinical picture.

* ICD-10: 10th Edition of the International Classification of Psychic Disorders. Clinical-Diagnostic Guidelines of the World Health Organization. Disorders from the Group of Schizophrenic Forms (F2)


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