On the basis of a review of the literature describing the process of
schizophrenic illness, the authors conclude that schizophrenic psychosis is
one stage in a process of psychological and biological breakdown that has a
specific structure and a characteristic unfolding consisting of the
sequential appearance of hierarchically ordered, distinguishable, and
recognizable psychological states. They present on illustrative case
history of a patient who was able to describe her feelings during the
process of decompensation to schizophrenic psychosis and two case histories
of patients whose decompensations were rated according to the authors'
State of Illness Rating Scale.