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February 1981

Diagnostic Discrepancy in Personal Accounts of Patients With 'Schizophrenia'

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Family Practice (Ms North) and Psychiatry (Dr Cadoret), University of Iowa School of Medicine, Iowa City.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1981;38(2):133-137. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1981.01780270019001

• Five published accounts of patients with "schizophrenia" were reviewed in the light of the DSM-III diagnostic criteria. None of the accounts unequivocally met the DSM-III criteria for schizophrenia, but all did meet the criteria for some other psychiatric condition, especially affective disorders. The survey results suggest that popular accounts of "schizophrenia" present a confusing picture of schizophrenia. Inasmuch as these accounts often are invoked to support "cures," the reading public is doubly misled, as when a naturally remitting condition such as depression is mistakenly called schizophrenia. The psychiatric profession has a responsibility to clarify diagnostic misconceptions put forth in popular literature, and DSM-III might provide more objective guidelines for this much-needed clarification.

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