Schizophreniform Disorder Symptoms

The formal diagnosis of schizophreniform disorder rests on these symptoms, which can be evaluated by psychiatrists and other mental health professionals.

Symptoms of Schizophreniform Disorder

The following specific diagnostic criteria are reproduced verbatim (except for codings and page references) from the DSM-IV, the immediate predessor of the current DSM-IV TR (where ‘IV TR’ indicates fourth edition, text revision).

Diagnostic Criteria for Schizophreniform Disorder

A. Two (or more) of the following, each present for a significant portion of time during a 1-month period (or less if successfully treated):

  • delusions
  • hallucinations
  • disorganized speech (e.g., frequent derailment or incoherence)
  • grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior
  • negative symptoms, i.e., affective flattening, alogia, or avolition

Note: Only one Criterion A symptom is required if delusions are bizarre or hallucinations consist of a voice keeping up a running commentary on the person’s behavior or thoughts, or two or more voices conversing with each other.

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B. Schizoaffective Disorder and Mood Disorder With Psychotic Features have been ruled out because either:

  1. no Major Depressive, Manic, or Mixed Episodes have occurred concurrently with the active-phase symptoms; or
  2. if mood episodes have occurred during active-phase symptoms, their total duration has been brief relative to the duration of the active and residual periods.

C. The disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition.

D. An episode of the disorder (including prodromal, active, and residual phases) lasts at least 1 month but less than 6 months. (When the diagnosis must be made without waiting for recovery, it should be qualified as “Provisional.”)

Specify if:

  • Without Good Prognostic Features
  • With Good Prognostic Features: as evidenced by two (or more) of the following:
    • onset of prominent psychotic symptoms within 4 weeks of the first noticeable change in usual behavior or functioning
    • confusion or perplexity at the height of the psychotic episode
    • good premorbid social and occupational functioning absence of blunted or flat affect

Associated features

  • Learning Problem
  • Hypoactivity
  • Psychosis
  • Euphoric Mood
  • Depressed Mood
  • Somatic or Sexual Dysfunction
  • Hyperactivity
  • Guilt or Obsession
  • Sexually Deviant Behavior
  • Odd/Eccentric or Suspicious Personality
  • Anxious or Fearful or Dependent Personality
  • Dramatic or Erratic or Antisocial Personality

All clinical material on this site is peer reviewed by one or more qualified mental health professionals. This specific article was originally published by on and was last reviewed or updated by Dr Greg Mulhauser, Managing Editor on .

Our material is not intended as a substitute for direct consultation with a qualified mental health professional. Please seek professional advice if you are experiencing any mental health concern.

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