Types of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia

According to WebMD:

“The main disorder is schizophrenia. It includes all the previous subtypes: catatonic, disorganized, paranoid, residual, and undifferentiated.”

There are many different sub-types to schizophrenia which depends on each person. The symptoms that a person experiences is what factors them into each group.

Catatonic

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Catatonic Schizophrenia is usually linked with “extreme behaviors”. There are two extremes that include the symptoms often connected to catatonic schizophrenia. One extreme is a reduction in activity, this usually means the person can not move or speak. With this extreme it is not uncommon for the person to take on an unusual position and become immobile for a long period of time. Two symptoms that come with catatonic schizophrenia are what is called “waxy flexibility” and being “physically immobile”. Waxy flexibility describes a person that has become immobile, involuntarily being moved in a different position and staying there. When a person is physically immobile they usually “seem to be unaware of there surroundings” –WebMD. The other extreme is the person is hyperactive and overexcited. This extreme is usually described as catatonic excitement. Symptoms that usually go along with this is excessive mobility, echolalia (mimicking sounds), and echopraxia (mimicking movement). Thanks to the many treatment options available people with catatonic schizophrenia can manage their symptoms.

Disorganized

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Disorganized Schizophrenia usually is diagnosed to someone who portrays disorganized speech, behavior, and lacks emotional response. Disorganized speech makes it hard for the patient to form words or complete thoughts. This of course affects their speech and can cause them to make up nonsensical words. Not all cases are severe but when they are, speech is nearly impossible to understand.  Severe disorganized behavior can mean not being able to start or finish projects which can result in patients not being able to function on their own. Another action often linked with disorganized behavior is neglecting hygiene or engaging in inappropriate sexual behavior in public. A lack of emotion or portraying “wrong” emotions at inappropriate times such as laughing hysterically at a funeral is another symptom

Paranoid

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Paranoid Schizophrenia, out of all of the subtypes, is the most common. Common symptoms include delusions and a personal grandeur. The delusions that they experience usually involve the belief that someone is “plotting against them”. This will usually cause the person to spend a long amount of time trying to protect themselves from the ones they believe are planning to hurt them. A personal grandeur, according to Psych Central is:

“the fixed, false belief that one possesses superior qualities such as genius, fame, omnipotence, or wealth.”

Paranoid schizophrenia is one of the subtypes that is chronic meaning that it is a long-term condition. It is also the most common because unlike other subtypes it usually doesn’t affect emotions or concentration. Without treatment or medication the condition can worsen and lead to suicidal thoughts, but with the right treatment and support many patients have been able to live a fulfilling life.

Residual

This type of schizophrenia is very different from the other subtypes in that there are no specific symptoms that go with it. Because there are not specific symptoms it is harder to diagnose someone with it. Usually when a patients illness goes into “long-term remission” they will be diagnosed with residual schizophrenia. The “list” that doctors follow in order to diagnose someone with residual schizophrenia is

  • Reduced Symptoms – this usually is weighed by time, if a patient is not showing (or show a large decrease) in schizophrenic symptoms such as hallucinations or delusions for over a year they may be diagnosed with residual schizophrenia.
  • “Negative” symptoms – for example a lack of emotion, poor communication and hygiene, inactivity, and passivity.
  • No signs of neurodegenerative diseases 

Undifferentiated

Undifferentiated schizophrenia is another hard subtype to diagnose. This is because it depends on the case itself. According to Psych Central:

“it depends on establishing the slowly progressive development of the characteristic “negative” symptoms of schizophrenia without any history of hallucinations, delusions, or other manifestations of an earlier psychotic episode, and with significant changes in personal behaviour, manifest as a marked loss of interest, idleness, and social withdrawal.

Patients that are diagnosed with undifferentiated schizophrenia usually have both “positive” and “negative” schizophrenic symptoms. The chart below portrays both:

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