The authors present a schema for conceptualizing psychiatric illness in
terms of state and trait disorders. These disorders are relatively
independent components, one or both of which can be present in one patient.
They usually require treatment by different methods. State disorders, such
as schizophrenic psychosis, mania, and depression, are time-limited and
autonomous and respond better to pharmacological than psychosocial therapy.
Trait disorders, such as neurotic and characterological disturbances, are
long-lasting and respond better to psychosocial therapies. The authors
discuss the implications of this schema for the integration of
pharmacological and psychosocial treatments.