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Hebephrenia is dead, long live hebephrenia, or why Hecker and Chaslin were on to something

  • Alvaro Barrera (a1), Owen Curwell-Parry (a2) and Marie-Claire Raphael (a3)

Since its first description in 1863, ‘hebephrenia’ has highlighted a group of patients characterised by an early onset of illness, formal thought disorder, bizarre behaviour and incongruent emotional expression. A proportion of patients with the most severe form of mental illness have a clinical presentation that is best captured by this diagnosis. Here, we outline the construct of hebephrenia and two of its core overlapping constituent parts: bizarre behaviour and the disorganisation dimension. We argue that, despite the removal of hebephrenia (disorganised schizophrenia) from DSM-5, clinicians should consider it as a differential diagnosis, particularly in suspected personality disorder.



Corresponding author
Correspondence Dr Owen Curwell-Parry, Warneford Hospital, Warneford Lane, Headington, Oxford OX3 7JX, UK. Email:
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BJPsych Advances
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Hebephrenia is dead, long live hebephrenia, or why Hecker and Chaslin were on to something

  • Alvaro Barrera (a1), Owen Curwell-Parry (a2) and Marie-Claire Raphael (a3)
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