The nosologic validity of paranoia (simple delusional disorder). A review

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1980 Jun;37(6):699-706. doi: 10.1001/archpsyc.1980.01780190097012.


The diagnostic status of paranoia (renamed simple delusional disorder [SDD]) has been debated since the time of Kraepelin. Three main views have emerged that consider paranoia (1) a subtype of schizophrenia, (2) a subtype of affective illness, or (3) a distinct nosologic entity. The literature pertinent to the diagnostic validity of a SDD is examined. Although the methodology of a number of the studies reviewed would not be considered rigorous by today's standards, certain tentative conclusions can nonetheless be reached. The available data do not suggest that SDD is a subtype of affective illness. The evidence reviewed also does not strongly support the hypothesis that SDD is a subtype of schizophrenia. Although some of the data is consistent with the view that SDD is a "mild" form of schizophrenia, the bulk of the evidence suggests that SDD and schizophrenia are distinct syndromes.

MeSH terms

  • Delusions / diagnosis*
  • Delusions / psychology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Paranoid Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Paranoid Disorders / psychology
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis
  • Schizophrenia, Paranoid / diagnosis
  • Schizophrenic Psychology