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February 1981

Diagnostic Discrepancy in Personal Accounts of Patients With 'Schizophrenia'

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.