Diagnosis of Disorders of Psychosis

The threshold for the determination whether the thought is damaged varies somewhat in different cultural contexts. As well as anxiety, psychotic symptoms can appear in a variety of mental disorders. They are associated in a very characteristic way with schizophrenia, but the psychotic symptoms may also appear in serious mood disorders.

One of the most common groups of symptoms that result from the disorder of the processing and interpretation of sensory information are hallucinations. Hallucination is called when an individual experiences a sensory impression that has no basis in reality. This impression may involve any of the sensory modalities. Thus, the hallucinations can be auditory, olfactory, gustatorias, kinesthetic, tactile or Visual. For example, auditory hallucinations often involve the impression that one is hearing a voice. In all cases, the sensory impression is falsely being experienced as real.

A more complex group of symptoms resulting from the alteration of the interpretation of the information consists of the delusions. A delusion is a false belief that has an individual despite the evidence otherwise. A common example is the paranoia, in which the person has delusional beliefs that others are trying to harm you. Attempts to persuade the person of their beliefs are unfounded, typically fail and may even result in additional reinforcement of their beliefs.

Hallucinations and delusions are among the most commonly observed psychotic symptoms. The lists of other symptoms that are seen in the Psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia are shown below.

Common manifestations of schizophrenia

Positive symptoms

• Hallucinations

• Delusions

• Thought and disorganized behavior

• Scattered or illogical thoughts

• Agitation

Negative symptoms

• Affectivity flat or abolished

• Specific thoughts

• Anhedonia (inability to experience pleasure)

• Minimal motivation, spontaneity and initiative

The symptoms of schizophrenia are divided into two broad classes: positive and negative symptoms.

In general, positive symptoms involve the experience of something in the consciousness that normally should not be present. For example hallucinations and delusions are perceptions or beliefs that should not occur normally. In addition to the hallucinations and delusions, patients with psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia, often have great changes in the logical processing of your thoughts. In particular, the psychotic thought processes have the characteristic of being scattered, disorganized, illogical or extravagant. These alterations of the process of thought often produce a pattern of observable behavior that is also disorganized and extravagant. The severe alterations of the process and content of thought comprising positive symptoms often are the characteristics more recognizable and striking of psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia or manic-depressive illness.

However, in addition to the positive symptoms, patients with schizophrenia and other psychoses may also show important deficits in the motivation and spontaneity, what is referred to as negative symptoms. While the positive symptoms represent the presence of something that should not occur normally, negative symptoms reflect the absence of thoughts and behaviors that on the other hand it should be present. The specific thoughts represent the deterioration of the ability to think in the abstract. The abolition of affectivity represents the deterioration of the ability to express emotions. The lack of motivation and the inability to initiate activities represents the main source of disability long-term schizophrenia. The anhedonia reflected a deficit in the ability to experience pleasure and react appropriately to pleasant situations. Positive symptoms such as hallucinations are responsible for much of the distress associated with schizophrenia, but negative symptoms seem to be responsible for much of the chronic disability and long term associated with the disorder.