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Schizoaffective and Brief Psychotic Disorder Essay Sample

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Schizoaffective and Brief Psychotic Disorder Essay Sample

Comparison of Schizoaffective disorder and a brief psychotic disorder. Both schizoaffective disorder and a diagnosis of brief psychotic disorder include symptoms of disorganized speech and behavior in addition to hallucinations and delusions. It is important to keep in mind that even though schizoaffective disorder and brief psychotic disorder share some of the same symptoms, they are not interchangeable (Carlat, 2005). The break from reality and cognitive processing are seen in many psychiatric syndromes in addition to schizophrenic disorders (Miller, Hodges, Clafferty, Cosway, & Johnstone, 2001). Schizoaffective disorder is thought to be a combination that includes aspects of schizophrenia and severe mood disorders (Butcher, Mineka, & Hooley, 2012). According to the DSM-IV-TR (2000), “in order to meet the criteria for schizoaffective disorder, the essential features must occur within a single, uninterrupted period of illness” (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th ed., text rev.; DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association, 2000, p. 319). The criteria for schizoaffective disorder indicate that at some point during the illness, there is an episode of major depression, mania, or a mixed mood episode that occurs with the symptoms of schizophrenia.

During the course of a schizoaffective disorder, the criteria indicates that hallucinations and delusions are experienced for at least two weeks, and occur in the absence of a mood disorder symptoms(Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed., text rev.; DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association, 2000) . Additionally, the symptoms that occur with mood disorders are present for a large portion of the period of illness. There are two subtypes of schizoaffective disorders; bipolar, which refers to when a Manic or Mixed episode is part of the presentation; and unipolar, or depressive type of schizoaffective disorder where Major Depressive Episodes are part of client presentation (4th ed., text rev.; DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association, 2000).

With brief psychotic disorders, the symptoms of the illness last at least one day, but less than one month (Butcher et al., 2012). The brief psychotic disorders are marked by intense emotional turmoil. A distinguishing feature of brief psychotic disorders is the sudden onset of at least one of the following symptoms: delusions, hallucinations, incoherent speech, behavior that is either flat affect or erratic (4th ed., text rev.; DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association, 2000). After the illness runs its course, with time; there is a full return of normal functioning. Additionally with a diagnosis of brief psychotic disorder, schizophrenia, schizoaffective, and mood disorders with psychotic features has been ruled out. Another associated feature of brief psychotic disorder is “emotional turmoil and overwhelming confusion” (4th ed., text rev.; DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association, 2000, p. 330). .


American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. In Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text rev.). Arlington, VA: Author. Butcher, J. N., Mineka, S., & Hooley, J. M. (2012). Abnormal Psychology (14th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson. Carlat, D. J. (2005). The psychiatric interview (2nd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams &Wilkins. Miller, P. P., Hodges, A. A., Clafferty, R. R., Cosway, R. R., & Johnstone, E. C. (2001). Genetic liability, illicit drug use, life stress, and psychotic symptoms: preliminary findings from the Edinburgh sturdy of people at high risk for schizophrenia. Social Psychiatry Psychiatric Epidemiology, 36, 338-342. Retrieved from http://ebsco.com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org

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