Schizophreniform Disorder, another type of psychosis

Schizophreniform Disorder, another type of psychosis

The organic schizophreniform disorder is a type of schizophrenia, the difference is that it has a limited duration of less than 6 months.


  • 1 What is schizophreniform disorder?
  • 2 symptoms
  • 3 Causes
  • 4 Treatment

What is schizophreniform disorder?

Like schizophrenia, schizophreniform disorder is a kind of psychosis in which the person who suffers from it is not able to distinguish what is real from what is not. This disorder affects the way the person thinks, acts, expresses emotions and relates to others.

The diagnosis of schizophreniform disorder is made when someone has typical symptoms of schizophrenia for a minimum of one month, but less than six months, including the prodromal, active and residual phases. Yes the symptoms last six months or more, the diagnosis changes to schizophrenia or, in some cases, a bipolar disorder or schizoaffective disorder. On the other hand, to meet the criteria of schizophreniform disorder, the symptoms cannot be the result of a medication, recreational drug or other medical or psychological problem.


For the diagnosis of schizophreniform disorder, as in schizophrenia, at least two of the following symptoms must appear:

  • Delusions (false beliefs that the person refuses to give up, even after knowing the facts).
  • Hallucinations (see, hear or feel things that are not real).
  • Disorganized, meaningless speech, using disjointed words and jumping from one subject to another, generating an incoherent type of communication.
  • Strange behavior like walking in circles or writing constantly.
  • Disorganized or catatonic behavior.
  • Decreased range of emotional expression (the person seems emotionally withdrawn).
  • Lack of energy.
  • Poor grooming and self-care habits.
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in life
  • Isolation of family, friends and social activities

In addition, at least one of the symptoms must include delusions, hallucinations or disorganized language.

People with schizophreniform disorder often they isolate themselves from loved ones and avoid social activities. This leads to a loss of normal life and social skills, as well as significant problems at school or work.

Even if schizophrenia affects men and women equallyThe onset is usually earlier in men, often appears between 18 and 24 years, while the onset in women is more common between 24 and 35 years.


The causes of schizophreniform disorder are unclear, but they seem to be related to genetics, an abnormal brain structure and an environment or situation that starts symptoms in people susceptible to this disease. The poor interpersonal relationships or severe stress They can also trigger symptoms of schizophrenia.

  • Genetics: Children of parents affected by a schizophreniform disorder have a higher risk of developing the same disease.
  • Structure and function of the brain: People with schizophrenia and schizophreniform disorder may have an alteration in the brain circuits that are responsible for thinking and perception.
  • Environment: Poor relationships or very stressful events can trigger schizophreniform disorder in people who have inherited a tendency to develop the disease.


Psychotherapy and antipsychotic medications are the basis for the treatment of schizophreniform disorder.

Cognitive behavioral therapy can help people with schizophrenia understand the disorder and provide practical ways to cope with it while improving social and problem-solving skills. Other types of therapy that take a positive approach can be equally effective, at least in the short term.

If violent or self-destructive symptoms appear, hospitalization may be necessary. Family therapy can also help family members cope with the disorder and learn effective ways to help.

You may be interested: DSM-V diagnostic codes


Understanding Mental Disorders. Schizophreniform Disorder 2015; American Psychiatric Association.

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