The discussion yesterday concerned itself with possible biochemical mechanisms in schizophrenia, and today the discussion has turned to the affective disorders. Among the differences between these two types of conditions one of the most interesting is that the affective disorders are composed of manifestations or symptoms that are much more familiar to all of us than are the manifestations of schizophrenia. It is difficult to identify with the symptoms of schizophrenic patients because, except in the dream state, the normal individual is not aware of bizarre thinking, hallucinations, and delusions in his own mental state. In the case of the affective disorders, all of these manifestations are part of our everyday life. It is not the abnormality of the individual manifestations that permits us to classify these as psychiatric disorders, but the fact that in some individuals these symptoms last too long or are inappropriately exaggerated under the circumstances associated with them. There is a sort of polarity in most of the affective symptoms, with the normal state lying somewhere in the middle, and the affective illnesses representing extremes of intensity, duration, or adaptiveness.


Affective Disorder Biogenic Amine Adrenergic Activity Adrenergic System Affective Illness 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seymour Kety
    • 1
  1. 1.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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