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Diagnosis, classification, and differential diagnosis of schizophrenia 

Diagnosis, classification, and differential diagnosis of schizophrenia
Diagnosis, classification, and differential diagnosis of schizophrenia

Anthony S. David

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date: 16 May 2022

Until the early 1970s, the diagnosis of schizophrenia was one of the most contentious and fraught issues in the whole of psychiatry. Since then a massive international effort has been put in motion out of which explicit diagnostic criteria emerged. Some achieved widespread and even multinational agreement, allowing the painstaking process of calculating diagnostic specificity, sensitivity, reliability, and (perhaps) validity to begin. Although criticism of the diagnosis of schizophrenia continues, mostly from outside psychiatrists, the vast majority of psychiatrists look upon the major sets of diagnostic criteria with weary acceptance, seeing them as flawed but useful and possibly ‘as good as it gets’ given our current state of knowledge/ignorance. This chapter covers diagnostic criteria, basis of classification, early diagnosis, differential diagnosis, and finally the diagnostic process.

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