Pain insensitivity in schizophrenia. Case report and review of the literature

Stephen H. Rosenthal, Kathaleen A. Porter, Barbara Coffey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


We describe a schizophrenic man whose lack of pain and related objective signs of a perforated small bowel led to a delay in diagnosis and surgical intervention. A review of the literature suggests that both psychodynamic and specific biologic factors can produce atypical presentations in psychotic patients with illnesses in which pain is characteristically a prominent presenting symptom. While research into the cause of altered pain perception in psychotic patients is continuing, clinicians should maintain a high index of suspicion of serious medical illness when evaluating such patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-322
Number of pages4
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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