Although psychotic mood disorders likely account for a large majority of misdiagnoses of schizophrenia, many medical disorders, medications, drugs, and some other psychiatric disorders can present with psychotic features that can also lead to misdiagnoses of schizophrenia or a mood disorder. Hall et al. (1978) reported an incidence of medical disorders in 9.1% of 658 consecutive psychiatric outpatients that they felt caused the patients’ psychiatric symptoms. Such patients were most commonly misdiagnosed with schizophrenia and depression. A similarly designed study found 5.6% of first-episode patients diagnosed with schizophrenia had an unrecognized medical disorder that explained psychotic symptoms (Johnstone et al. 1987).
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