PSYC 406 AMU Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders Discussion

Distinguish between the positive and negative symptoms associated with a diagnosis of Schizophrenia. What symptoms are key in making the distinction among the diagnoses of Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, and Mood Disorder with Psychotic Features?

Remember that all posts are graded for substance and thoughtful consideration of the discussion topic. Your post must also end with a “Question to the Class” – something related to the topic that you found thought-provoking and about which you’d like to know more and have further dialog.

Classmate #1:

Schizophrenia symptoms have to include two or more of the following symptoms for a considerable amount of time over a month-long period. The symptoms include delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, disorganized or catatonic behavior, and reduced emotional expression and/or avolition. Other criteria includes decreased functioning in social and occupational areas since the onset of a disturbance having occurred. Symptoms are usually classified into positive or negative symptoms. Positive symptoms are things that may start to happen such as hallucinations, delusions, confused thoughts and/or speech, and trouble concentrating. Negative symptoms are things that may stop happening such as withdrawal, emotional flatness, and struggle to function in everyday tasks. Signs of disturbances must last for a minimum of 6 months since their initial onset for a diagnosis in Schizophrenia.

Schizoaffective Disorder can be understood as a combination between bipolar disorder or major depression with psychotic features, combined with schizophrenia. There are two subtypes to this order which are bipolar subtype and depressive subtype. This can be differentiated from Schizophrenia because it requires a manic episode or depressive episode to occur alongside the active symptoms mentioned earlier, or the episode occurs but only for a small duration during the disturbance of active symptoms. 

Question to the Class: In our research this week, what did you learn about the causes of Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder? Have there been any causes determined, or still being researched? Is the research on the causes so far the same for both disorders?


Maddux, J. E., & Winstead, B. A. (Eds.). (2015). Psychopathology: Foundations for a contemporary understanding (4th ed.). Routledge.

Classmate #2:

  • Positive signs of schizophrenia are missing in people in good health, but negative symptoms are present. These include hallucinations, delusions, odd behavior, and warped thinking. While disordered thinking entails trouble rationally arranging and integrating thoughts, delusions are incorrect beliefs based on reality. Agitation, improper emotions, and childish silliness are all examples of abnormal behavior. Schizophrenia’s negative symptoms include a lack of customary behaviors, emotions, and social participation. Although the exact origin is unknown, it may be brought on by genetics, shrinkage, abnormalities in the brain or neurotransmitters, complications during pregnancy or labor, or abnormalities in the brain. To treat the illness, both medication and psychotherapy are employed. Antipsychotic drugs treat psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, and disordered thoughts. The development of daily functioning abilities is assisted by cognitive therapy and psychoeducation. Brief electric shocks are used in electroconvulsive treatment (ECT) to modify neurotransmitter levels. Family counseling is essential. Although tests cannot be used to diagnose schizophrenia, genetics, developmental history, and mental state are studied by clinicians before the condition manifests.
  • Schizophrenia frequently begins in late adolescence or early adulthood. By fusing aspects of schizophrenia with mood disorders like depression or bipolar illness, it causes symptoms like sadness, mania, and psychotic symptoms, including delusions and hallucinations. Schizophrenia is characterized by a mood disorder with psychotic features, delusions, and hallucinations, whereas mood characteristics like sadness or mania coexist with psychotic symptoms in schizophrenia.
  • Class Question: Why do you think disorders such as Schizophrenia are diminished or devalued in ethnic societies? 


Official Consumer Website | Janssen Portfolio of Long-Acting Injections. (2020, August 17). Invega LAI Portfolio. 

Schizophrenia – Symptoms and causes. (2020, January 7). Mayo Clinic. 

Bora, E., Yucel, M., & Pantelis, C. (2018, January 2). Cognitive functioning in schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and affective psychoses: meta-analytic study | The British Journal of Psychiatry | Cambridge Core. Cambridge Core. 

C. (n.d.). Schizoaffective Disorder: Schizophrenia, Mood Disorder, Treatment. Cleveland Clinic.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *