Background. In the past it has been postulated that dysphoric
emotions may be related to positive
and/or negative symptoms in schizophrenia. The results of several recent
studies have suggested
that composite dysphoria indices are more strongly related to positive
than negative symptoms. In
the current study we use part correlation techniques to examine the possible
of two aspects of dysphoria – depression and anxiety – to three
syndromes of symptoms (reality
distortion, disorganization and psychomotor poverty) within schizophrenia.
Methods. Data were obtained from 60 patients with a DSM-III-R
diagnosis of schizophrenia.
Symptoms of schizophrenia were assessed using the SAPS and SANS and dysphoria
using both self-report (BDI and BAI) and observer ratings (HRSD and HARS).
schizophrenia symptoms and ratings of depression and anxiety were completed
observers. In addition, drug induced extrapyramidal side effects were rated.
Results. Part correlations showed that unique aspects of anxiety
(particularly physiological arousal)
were correlated with reality distortion while unique aspects of depression
slowing and loss of social interest) were related to psychomotor poverty.
At least part of the latter
relationship may be due to extrapyramidal side effects of neuroleptic medication.
Conclusions. Although there is considerable overlap between
anxiety and depression, it appears that
the unique arousing or activating aspects of anxiety are related to the
experience of reality distortion
symptoms in schizophrenia and the unique slowing and withdrawal aspects
of depression are
particularly related to psychomotor poverty. Possible reasons for these
relationships are discussed.