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Clinical Characteristics

Schizophrenia is characterized by a profound disruption of cognition and
emotion, which affects a person’s language, thought, perception, affect and
even sense of self.

Positive & Negative Symptoms

Positive Symptoms: reflect an excess or distortion of normal function
Negative Symptoms: reflect a reduction or loss of normal function

Diagnostic Criteria

Diagnosis: requires at least 1-month duration of two or more positive


Positive Symptoms

Delusions: bizarre beliefs that seem real. They are sometimes paranoid in
nature and may also involve beliefs relating to grandiosity. Belief
behaviour/comments of others are specifically meant for the individual
alone (who is suffering from Schizophrenia).

Experiences of Control: believe they are under control of an alien force that
has invaded their mind or body.

Auditory Hallucinations: unreal perceptions of the environment that usually

auditory (hearing voices), may also be visual, olfactory or tactile.

Disordered Thinking: thoughts have been inserted into or withdrawn from

the mind. Tangential, incoherent or loosely associated speech is used as an
indicator of thought disorder.

Negative Symptoms

Affective Flattening: reduction in the range and intensity of emotional

expression, voice tone, eye contact and body language.

Alogia: poverty of speech, lessening of speech fluency and productivity.

Avolition: reduction of, or inability to initiate and persist in goal-directed

Clinical Characteristics

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD is a type of anxiety disorder. The repetitive execution of essentially
irrational actions.

Obsessions are recurrent, intrusive thoughts or impulses that are perceived
as inappropriate, grotesque or forbidden. Obsessions are perceived as
uncontrollable, and sufferers often fear that they will lose control and act
on them.

Compulsions are repetitive behaviours or mental acts reducing the anxiety
that accompanies an obsession or preventing some dreaded event
happening. Compulsions include both obvious behaviours and mental acts.

Diagnostic Criteria

Diagnosis: showing recurrent and persistent thoughts, impulses or images

that are experienced as intrusive and inappropriate

Person displays repetitive behaviours or mental acts that he/she feels driven
to perform in response to an obsession. These behaviours/mental acts either
are not connected in any realistic way with what they are designed to

Individual recognizes that these obsessions or compulsions are excessive or

unreasonable and are a product of his/her own mind
Clinical Characteristics

Mood Disorder affecting a person’s emotional state. Depression is a low
emotional state characterized by high levels of sadness, lack of energy and
self-worth and feelings of guilt. Most people with a mood disorder suffer
only from depression (unipolar or major depressive disorder).

Diagnostic Criteria

Diagnosis: following symptoms should be present for all or most of the time
and should persist for longer than 2 weeks.

Sad, depressed mood: indicated by subjective report or observations

Loss of interest and pleasure in usual activities: indicated by subjective

report or observations

Difficulties in sleeping: although some patients show a desire to sleep

Shift in activity level, becoming either lethargic or agitated: not merely

subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down

Poor appetite and weight loss, or increased appetite and weight gain:
significant weight loss when not dieting or increase/decrease in appetite

Loss of energy and great fatigue

Negative self-concept, feelings of worthlessness and guilt: feelings of

worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt

Difficulty in concentrating: slow thinking and indecisiveness

Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide: major depressive disorders account

for about 20-35% of suicide (Angst, 1995)