Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Are some nonpsychotic psychiatric disorders actually psychotic?

Henry A. Nasrallah, MD

One of the basic psychiatric principles accepted by all practicing psychiatrists is that a delusion is a fundamental symptom of psychosis.

A delusion is defined as “a fixed false belief not commensurate with the person’s educational and cultural background” and is almost universally associated with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. But if we apply the notion that a fixed false belief is delusional, then several “nonpsychotic” psychiatric disorders would qualify as psychoses based on their core clinical symptoms, including major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorders, and others.

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