- An illness characterised by psychosis, disorganised speech, negative symptoms, or stereotypical behaviour occurring for a period of at least 1 month and associated with at least a 6-month period of functional decline.
- Characteristic factors are positive symptoms (auditory hallucinations, thought disorder, and delusions) and negative symptoms (demotivation, self-neglect, and reduced emotion).
- Onset is usually in early adulthood and may be preceded by years of ill-differentiated symptoms, from behavioural changes and delusions to frank psychosis.
- Initially, patients are usually referred by family members. As the illness progresses, patients tend to self-refer or are brought in by a case manager or law enforcement officer.
- Antipsychotic therapy and psychosocial interventions are effective for most patients, but to varying degrees.
- Suicidal tendency is one of the most dangerous complications. As many as 15% of patients may kill themselves. The risk is highest at the onset of the illness.
Other related conditions
- Assessment of psychosis
- Bipolar disorder in adults
- Social anxiety disorder
- Generalised anxiety disorder
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- Personality disorders
- Overview of substance abuse and overdose
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
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- Alcohol abuse
- Assessment of HIV-related mental status changes
Last updated: Oct 08, 2012