11 First Rank Symptoms Present in Dissociative Disorders


Schneiderian first rank symptoms (FRS) were once a set of criteria used to diagnose schizophrenia. However, over the years it has been found that these symptoms are not simply limited to schizophrenia, and are therefore not a valid diagnostic method for schizophrenia. In fact, FRS has been found to be more present in #dissociativedisorders than they are in schizophrenia. This has led to many misdiagnoses.

A dissociative disorder is a mental illness that affects how an individual experiences and behaves in the world. They can be caused by trauma, such as childhood abuse or war-related events. One of the most common types of dissociative disorders is Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), formerly known as multiple personality disorder. Individuals with DID often experience amnesia, have different states of consciousness and may feel like they are possessed by other people.

The main feature of DID is “disruption” – this means there’s a noticeable interruption between two or more distinct identities or personality states (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). This article will discuss the first rank symptoms present in individuals with Dissociative Disorders including those found in DID patients. 

first rank symptoms
Source: @miratherapeutics

First Rank Symptoms Present in Dissociative Disorders

Schneiderian First Rank Symptoms ( FRS )

1. Audible Thoughts – hallucinatory voices that echo or speak thoughts
2. Voices arguing – hallucinatory voices debating
3. Voices commenting – hallucinatory voices that comment on actions
4. Influences on the body – sensations that feel like they are imposed on the body
5. Thought withdrawal – thoughts are being withdrawn from the mind by an outside force
6. Thought broadcasting – thoughts are disseminating into the world
7. Thought insertion – thoughts placed into the mind by an outside force
8. “Made” feelings – feelings imposed by an outside force
9. “Made” actions – acting in ways that feel they are not one’s own
10. “Made” impulses – impulses that do not feel like one’s own
11. Delusional perception – fixed false beliefs

See : German psychiatrist Kurt Schneider

Patients with #DissociativeIdentityDisorder reports on average 3.6 – 6.4 first rank symptoms, whereas the general population reports 0.5, and patients with schizophrenia report 0.9.

It is important to note that audible thoughts, thought broadcasting, and delusional perception are uncommon in those with DID, and only occur if they undergo a psychotic episode. These symptoms are more common among those with schizophrenia.

Comment below if you want to learn more about any of the symptoms listed above! I think the next post will focus on positive and negative dissociative symptoms.

Source: Selwyn B. Renard. Unique and Overlapping Symptoms in Schizophrenia Spectrum and Dissociative Disorders in Relation to Models of Pathology. (2017)

Source: Paul F. Dell. (2006). A New Model of Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Last Updated on December 3, 2021 by William Lindberg

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I am studying in Florida about Dialectic Behavioral Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I'm doing research on Neuro-Emotional Technique (NET), Cognitive psychology, Metacognitive Therapy.

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