International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Volume 4 Num. 2 - July 2004


The Expanding Psychosis Phenotype [El Fenotipo Expansivo de la Psicosis]

Volume 4 Num. 2 - July 2004 - Pages 411-421


Lydia Krabbendam, Inez Myin-Germeys, and Jim van Os


The psychosis phenotype is traditionally thought of as a dichotomous entity with symptoms that can be clearly distinguished from the normal state. An alternative, dimensional approach assumes that psychotic symptoms are continuous with normal experiences and are not necessarily associated with disability. Evidence for a continuum of psychosis comes from studies showing that the core symptoms of psychosis, delusions and hallucinations, are much more prevalent in the general population than their clinical counterparts. These milder forms of expression of psychosis show similar patterns of associations with demographic and environmental risk factors as the clinical disorder, providing further support for the notion of continuity. Although the majority of individuals experiencing these lesser psychotic ?symptoms? are not in need of care, they may nevertheless have an increased risk of developing a clinical disorder. Transitions over the psychosis continuum may in part be driven by the cognitive and emotional response to the psychotic or psychosis-like experiences.

Key words:

Psychosis; General Population; Risk Factors

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