Author: Michael Y. Hwang, Paul C. Bermanzohn
Publisher: American Psychiatric Press (February 3, 2001)
Schizophrenia is one of the most difficult diagnoses to make. And, once made, it was once among the most limited, offering few options in the management of care for schizophrenia patients with comorbid conditions. It was not until 1994, with the publication of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), that diagnostic guidelines first permitted additional diagnoses on Axis I, such as anxiety disorder, in the presence of schizophrenia. Yet remnants of the old hierarchical diagnostic system remain, diverting attention from the pressing issue of managing what appear to be common — and treatable — disabling conditions, such as panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), that often occur with schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia and Comorbid Conditions: Diagnosis and Treatment lays diagnostic oversimplification of schizophrenia to rest once and for all. All schizophrenia patients are not the same. The editors of this groundbreaking work criticize the reductionist view of schizophrenia as a single unitary disorder — a view that has led many psychiatrists and mental health care professionals to overlook potentially important syndromes.
Asserting that these patients should be managed on the basis of their individual clinical presentations, not just their categorical diagnosis, recognized experts in their specialties offer a fascinating array of topics. Chapter 1 goes straight to the heart of this assertion, beginning with epidemiology and showing how hierarchical diagnostic concepts keep associated psychiatric syndromes (APS) hidden from clinical and scientific attention. Also presented are the findings of the few treatment studies of APS in schizophrenia.
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