IN CONTEMPORARY psychiatric parlance the term "thinking disorder" almost automatically conjures up the concept of schizophrenia. Yet an entire spectrum of thinking disorders exists—from the most benign to the most malignant. Our official nomenclature displays versatility at classifying subtypes of schizophrenia, while the "soft" thinking disorders, the subtle marginal thinking disorders, ubiquitous though they are, find themselves relegated to a nosologic no man's land.
Ambulatory schizophrenia, pseudoneurotic schizophrenia, latent schizophrenia, borderline state—preschizophrenic illnesses or less fulminating varieties of schizophrenia—deserve the diagnostic recognition they have received.5,6,7,9 In fact, at certain centers there is such diagnostic enthusiasm for these entities, one might almost get the impression that pseudoneurotic schizophrenia is reaching epidemic proportions. Nevertheless, it is an error to view all thinking disorders through the dark glasses of schizophrenia.
In 1911, Bleuler published his classic monograph, Dementia Praecox or the Group of Schizophrenias, in which he described loosening of associations as