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Since its first description in 1863, 'hebephrenia' has highlighted a group of patients characterised by an early onset of illness, formal thought disorder, bizarre behaviour and incongruent emotional expression. A proportion of patients with the most severe form of mental illness have a clinical presentation that is best captured by this diagnosis. Here, we outline the construct of hebephrenia and two of its core overlapping constituent parts: bizarre behaviour and the disorganisation dimension. We argue that, despite the removal of hebephrenia (disorganised schizophrenia) from DSM-5, clinicians should consider it as a differential diagnosis, particularly in suspected personality disorder.

Original publication




Journal article


BJPsych Advances

Publication Date





373 - 376