About Schizophrenia

DSM-5 Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorder

Schizophrenia: Criterion A lists the five key symptoms of psychotic disorders:

1) delusions,
2) hallucinations,
3) disorganized speech,
4) disorganized or catatonic behavior, and
5) negative symptoms.

In DSM-5, two of these five symptoms are required AND at least one symptom must be one of the first three (delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech).

Schizoaffective: Schizoaffective disorder forms a link between psychosis and mood.
DSM-5 requires the mood episode be present for the majority of the illness.

Delusional Disorder: The requirement that delusions be non-bizarre has been removed. A ‘delusion bizarre type’ specifier is available.

Differential diagnosis: Delusional Disorder and OCD delusional belief specifier:  The formation of a new category of disorders called Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders. This new category of disorders includes Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and Hoarding Disorder (among others). These three disorders have a new specifier related to insight. The DSM-IV ‘with poor insight’ specifier has been expanded to include good, fair, poor and absent/delusional insight. Therefore, Delusional Disorder has an exclusion criterion that specifies the symptoms cannot be better explained by OCD or similar disorder with absent/delusional insight. Delusional beliefs no longer automatically suggest a psychotic disorder. They must be carefully evaluated to determine if another disorder can better account for the delusional beliefs.


“Recovery does not mean cure…”
“…rather recovery is an attitude, a stance and a way of approaching the day’s challenges.”
Patricia Deegan PhD (1996. pp.96-97)

A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness and strive to reach their full potential.

Some quick facts about schizophrenia:

  • Schizophrenia can be found in approximately 1.1% of the world’s population, regardless of racial, ethnic or economic background.
  • Approximately 3.5 million people in the United States are diagnosed with schizophrenia and it is one of the leading causes of disability.
  • Three-quarters of persons with schizophrenia develop the illness between 16 and 25 years of age.
  • The disorder is at least partially genetic.
  • To be diagnosed as having schizophrenia, one must have associated symptoms for at least six months.
  • Studies have indicated that 25% of those having schizophrenia recover completely, 50% are improved over a 10-year period, and 25% do not improve over time.
  • Treatment and other economic costs due to schizophrenia are enormous, estimated between $32.5 and $65 billion annually.
  • Between one-third and one-half of all homeless adults have schizophrenia.
  • 50% of people diagnosed with schizophrenia have received no treatment.

To learn more, We invite you to view a presentation by Linda Whitten Stalters, APRN, BC, FAPA, SARDAA Board of Directors.

Tracey Moore

Tracy Moore – American Idol Contestant

What can be said with certainty is that those who are affected with schizophrenia and psychotic disorders face challenges that are formidable. It is also important to understand the highly variable nature of diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. There are numerous treatments, many effective, but just like many physical illness, no single magic procedure to restore health. Our Member Stories page highlights stories of how many people find their path to recovery by utilizing the assistance provided by Schizophrenia Alliance.