Case Report

Childhood disintegrative disorder misdiagnosed as childhood-onset schizophrenia

Neena Sanjiv Sawant, Shubhangi Parkar, Prathamesh Kulkarni
South African Journal of Psychiatry | Vol 20, No 3 | a518 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v20i3.518 | © 2014 Neena Sanjiv Sawant, Shubhangi Parkar, Prathamesh Kulkarni | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 November 2013 | Published: 30 August 2014

About the author(s)

Neena Sanjiv Sawant, Department of Psychiatry, Seth GSMC and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, India
Shubhangi Parkar, Department of Psychiatry, Seth GSMC and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, India
Prathamesh Kulkarni, Department of Psychiatry, Seth GSMC and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, India

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Abstract

Childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD) is a rare pervasive developmental disorder, which is often misdiagnosed as schizophrenia, probably due to the resultant severe social impairment and withdrawn behaviour with stereotypys that could be mistaken for psychosis. We report a case of CDD that was misdiagnosed by a psychiatrist as childhood-onset schizophrenia and treated with high doses of antipsychotics. The patient did not show any improvement. This highlights ethical issues that arise from treatment modalities, with polypharmacy being the biggest culprit, and also points to the need to continue medical education at the level of primary health services and among practising rural doctors where tertiary centres with child guidance facilities and a multidisciplinary team are not available.


Keywords

Childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD); Pervasive developmental disorder (PDD); Autism spectrum disorder (ASD); Childhood schizophrenia

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