Combined Mental Conditions

So I am watching an episode of A Touch of Frost where an autistic guy sees a UFO, and the security guard for the quarry is later found dead. They haul the kid off to the jail and he is found unconscious in the holding cell. After the jail Doc examins him, he is left alone in a room and he starts acting paranoid.

Is it possible for someone on the autism spectrum to develop classical paranoid schizophrenia? Would it make treating either the autism or the paranoia different or difficult?

Yes, it’s entirely possible for psychological disorders to be comorbid. Comorbidity between autism and schizophrenia is not uncommon.

OTOH, it’s apparently difficult for mental health care professionals to diagnose comorbid conditions. Many mental disorders defined in the DSM have such vague criteria, and so many conditions have criteria that overlap the criteria for other conditions, that it’s a crapshoot to decide where one disorder ends and another one begins.

If you look at the diagnostic criteria in the DSM, you’ll note that a great many of them specify that a certain condition may be diagnosed only if a certain other condition is not diagnosed. So a lot of conditions with overlapping criteria cannot be diagnosed together by definition.

How thrilling … now I have a mental image of a wheel of fortune type wheel with diagnoses in the little wedges… :smack:

Here’s a list of mental and physical conditions that are comorbid with autism:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conditions_comorbid_to_autism_spectrum_disorders

Seriously, no shit, aruvqan! Psychiatric diagnoses are largely just a crapshoot. I am convinced of that.