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Eur Psychiatry. 1999 Sep;14(5):264-9.

Unawareness of illness and its relationship with depression and self-deception in schizophrenia.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University College Belfield Dublin 4, Ireland.


Both poor insight and depressive symptomatology are common features of schizophrenia that may be independent of positive and negative symptoms. Forty-six patients with DSM-III-R schizophrenia were evaluated for level of insight (schedule for unawareness of mental disorder), depression (Calgary depression scale for schizophrenia, Beck depression inventory), and self-deception or denial (balanced inventory of desirable responding). Patients with a greater unawareness of their illness had relatively less depressive symptomatology and relatively greater self-deception. This relationship was particularly strong for unawareness of the social consequences of having a mental disorder. These results suggest that the presence of depressive symptomatology in schizophrenia is related to the level of insight, and contingent at least in part on the absence of self-deception as a denial defense.

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