Author: Jules R. Bemporad , Henry Pinsker
Since its initial description in 1896, there has been continuous debate about whether schizophrenia is a disease of organic etiology, a group of separate entities, not delineated, but with enough common features to be
characterized as a syndrome, a reaction to severe stress, latent in all individuals, or an accumulation of maladaptive behavior patterns. Despite these controversies, the setting apart of schizophrenia as a nosological entity
has stood the test of time. It is usually described as an entity with unknown etiology and variable course. Commonly, psychiatrists speak of schizophrenia in the singular, while agreeing that there is a group of schizophrenias. In this
chapter, we will be concerned with the signs and symptoms, the clinical manifestations which make possible diagnosis of schizophrenia, and which set it apart from other psychiatric disorders.