Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters “Schizophrenia” does not exist

Ditching our simplistic systems for categorising mental health problems

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: (Published 23 February 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i1044
  1. Keith E Dudleston, retired consultant psychiatrist
  1. Modbury, UK
  1. dudleston{at}

Van Os is correct that the various categories of “psychotic” illness we find in ICD-10 (international classification of diseases, 10th revision) do not represent discrete diseases but rather describe clusters of symptoms or overlapping syndromes.1

He is also right that there is little evidence to distinguish schizophrenia (as defined in ICD-10) from the other functional psychoses, either by cause …

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