“Attenuated Psychosis Syndrome” Questioned


Researchers from Brown University investigate “Attenuated Psychosis Syndrome”, proposed for the DSM-5, finding that they “could not identify any patients who clearly met criteria for APS alone in our sample. Psychotic experiences appear to be common in outpatients and represent nonspecific indicators of psychopathology. Diagnosing APS in the community could result in high rates of false-positives or high rates of APS “comorbidity” with other nonpsychotic disorders, leading to the increased use of antipsychotic medications without clear need. Therefore, the clinical utility of adding APS to the diagnostic system remains highly questionable.”

Abstract →

Gaudiano, B., Zimmerman, M., Prevalence of Attenuated Psychotic Symptoms and Their Relationship With DSM-IV Diagnoses in a General Psychiatric Outpatient Clinic. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, Online October 2, 2012

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


    • Their denial surely indicates that they’re suffering from a terrible personality disorder and they need drugs to help them see their denial as a sure sign of their mental illness. Someone needs to help them! And I’m sure that we could find something in DSM-5 that would substantiate their terrible illness!

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  1. I only wish the Australian government would realise what this research is showing. They are currenlty rolling out massive early psychosis centres around the country, at a cost of billions of dollars, all to prevent psychosis. And of course drugs are a part of that treatment. This video clip, shows what they classify as someone at risk of psychosis. If that is not 99.9% of the population I do not know what is. What is even scarier is that MOST mental health professionals seriously fully support this role out and the diagnosis. There is outrage that the American Psychiatric Association has declared publically that it will not be in the DSM5. But they have also said that it will not stop them from treating the disease, as they know that it works, and we supposedly can’t wait for the rest of the world to catch up!!!

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