Saturday, May 26, 2012

Schizophrenia and Psychotic Disorders Matrix

Schizophrenia:  Patterns of severe cognitive and behavioral symptoms, such as delusions and hallucinations, characterize this disorder that significantly interferes with normal functioning and persists for six months or more (Hansell & Damour, 2008).


Positive or Type I Symptoms

Positive symptoms are those by which pathological excesses are evident such as exaggerations and distortions of normal behavior, and delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized speech, thoughts and behaviors.  Positive symptoms are the presence of characteristics or symptoms that are normally absent (Hansell & Damour, 2008)

Negative or Type II Symptoms

Negative symptoms refer to the absence of specific behaviors or deficit aspects such as a chronic maladaptiveness, flatness of affect, and absence of developed interpersonal relationships or social skills.  It can also include apathy, withdrawal, poor concentration, and lack of emotion.  Negative symptoms are the absence of functions normally present (Hansell & Damour, 2008).

Psychotic Disorders:  Psychotic disorders are characterized by a distinct loss of contact with normal reality.  Common forms of psychosis include hallucinations and delusions (Hansell & Damour, 2008).


Schizoaffective Disorder

Schizoaffective disorder is a condition that causes both a loss of contact with reality (psychosis) and mood problems.  Schizoaffective disorder is specified as bipolar type or depressive type, depending on the character of the mood symptoms.


Schizophreniform disorder is the manifestation of psychosis with all the features of schizophrenia, but has not lasted the six months required for a diagnosis of schizophrenia.  Approximately 65% of the cases of schizophreniform disorder become schizophrenia after six months.  The diagnosis of this disorder is provisional if it is made before six months have elapsed (Hansell & Damour, 2008).

Brief Psychotic Disorder

A brief psychotic disorder diagnosis is made when an individual has a psychotic episode that presents like schizophrenia, although last between one day and less than one month.  Usually the individual returns to normal functioning after the brief psychotic episode.  Brief psychotic disorders and schizophreniform disorders are diagnosed less often than schizophrenia in the United States, although are more frequent in developing countries (Hansell & Damour, 2008).

Delusional Disorder

Delusional disorder is diagnosed when an individual has nonbizarre delusions that last at least one month.  Delusions are "fixed, false, and often bizarre beliefs" (Hansell & Damour, 2008, p. 455).  Delusional disorders are on a spectrum between more severe psychosis and overvalued ideas.
Bizarre delusions manifest in severe types of psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia (Chopra, Soreff, & Khan, 2009).

Shared Delusional Disorder

Shared delusional disorder is characterized by the development of delusions in a person closely related to an individual who has been diagnosed with a psychotic disorder.  This disorder is more common when the affected individuals live together and are socially isolated (Hansell & Damour, 2008).

Lifespan Development and Disorders of Childhood:  Childhood disorders, often labeled as developmental disorders or learning disorders, most often occur and are diagnosed when the child is of school age. These disorders can adversely affect educational performance, and normal childhood development and functioning (Hansell & Damour, 2008).

Mental Retardation

Characteristic of mental retardation is significantly below average intellectual functioning, and includes the description of mild, moderate, severe, or profound.  Such a diagnosis includes limitations in communication, the ability to care for oneself, social and interpersonal skills, normal daily functioning in the home, work, play, health, safety and the ability to self-direct.  Mental retardation is evident before the age of 18 (Hansell & Damour, 2008).

Learning Disorders

Learning disorders are characterized by deficiencies in the child's ability to understand, remember, and respond to new information.  Individuals may have difficulty listening, paying attention, speaking, reading, writing, or doing mathematics (National Institutes of Health, 2011).  Skills are measured against other children of similar age and academic experience (Hansell & Damour, 2008).

Pervasive Developmental Disorders

Pervasive Developmental disorders are characterized by profound and persistent impairment in many areas of normal functioning.  These disorders are unlike mental retardation and learning disorders because children diagnosed with such disorders fail to learn normal social skills and the ability for average communication.  Affected children do not participate in typical childhood behaviors and activities. 

Autism is one of the most commonly diagnosed disorders within the group of pervasive
developmental disorders and is characterized by severe impairment in many areas of development.
Autistic children are impaired socially and lack communication skills.  They display rigid and patterned behaviors (Hansell & Damour, 2008).

Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders

Disruptive behavior disorders is a diagnostic category that includes attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and conduct disorder.  Central to the disruptive behavior disorders are disobedience and/or dangerous behaviors.  Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder characteristically involves a deficit in paying attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity (Hansell & Damour, 2008).

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is characterized by excessive anxiety when separating from home, parents, or others of significant relationship.  Children may experience severe distress that can delay social, emotional, and academic development and interfere with normal functioning of the child (Hansell & Damour, 2008)

Motor Skills Disorders

Children with this disorder cannot process visuospatial information which causes problems or delays in complex motor activities (EMedicine Health, n.d.).

Elimination Disorders

These disorders include encopresis, which is defecating in inappropriate places, and enuresis or urinating in inappropriate places (Hansell & Damour, 2008).

Communication Disorders

This group of disorders includes expressive language disorder,  mixed receptive expressive language disorder, phonological disorder, and stuttering.  These disorders can affect the child's ability to speak and communicate effectively (Hansell & Damour, 2008).

Tic Disorders

Tic disorders include Tourette’s disorder, chronic motor or vocal tic disorder, and transient tic disorder.  Tics are sudden, rapid, nonrhythmic, stereotyped, involuntary movements (Hansell & Damour, 2008).

Feeding and Eating
Disorders of Infancy or Early Childhood

These disorders include pica, which is characterized by eating nonfood substances, and rumination disorder characterized by regurgitating and re-chewing food (Hansell & Damour, 2008).

Chopra, S., Soreff, S., & Khan, R. (2009). Delusional disorder. Medscape Reference. Retrieved May 24, 2011, from

EMedicine Health. (n.d.). Motor Skills Disorder Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment on Retrieved May 27, 2011, from

Hansell, J., & Damour, L. (2008). Abnormal psychology. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
National Institutes of Health. (2011). Learning Disorders: MedlinePlus. National Library of Medicine - National Institutes of Health. Retrieved May 23, 2011, from

PubMed Health. (2010). Schizoaffective disorder. Retrieved May 12, 2011, from

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