August 1968

Age, Appearance, and Schizophrenia

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Research, Department of Psychiatry, Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia (Drs. Gottheil and Joseph), Delaware State Hospital, New Castle, Del (Dr. Gottheil), and Friends Hospital, Philadelphia (Dr. Joseph).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1968;19(2):232-238. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1968.01740080104015

THERE IS a rather common notion among psychiatrists that patients with schizophrenia appear younger than their chronological age. Both of the authors had heard this by word of mouth but neither, in the original conversation which led to this study, knew of any specific research bearing on the question. Arieti1 refers to the "frequent, although by no means constant fact, that schizophrenics seem younger than their age." Hoffer and Osmond2 suggest that "Schizophrenics are frequently very attractive physically. They tend to age and lose their hair color more slowly and generally appear more youthful than their chronological age." A review of the literature failed to reveal any pertinent experimental studies and written communications with Arieti (Nov 4, 1964) and Manfred Bleuler (March 31, 1966) left the matter still an unvalidated clinical impression. This seemed undesirable in view of the implications of such a

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