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Living a Full Life with Schizophrenia

The Types of Schizophrenia

The Types of Schizophrenia

We have covered a lot of information about schizophrenia in general up to this point.  We know about some of the possible causes and we know about the broad range of symptoms.  But what we haven’t specifically mentioned is that there are sub-types of schizophrenia that are usually experienced.  Not everyone’s experience matches, and they are classified as a certain type based on the most predominate symptoms being displayed.

It is important to understand that a diagnosis is not permanent.  If a person becomes ill with symptoms that cause a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia to be made, it doesn’t mean that the symptoms can’t shift in intensity and prevalence over time.  A person can move from one type of schizophrenia to another over time.  Becoming invested in one diagnosis can keep the individual, the family, and the doctor from seeing the movement of symptoms as they flux in and out of severity and significance.

The Subtypes of Schizophrenia

Below is a list of the types of schizophrenia we will discuss:

Catatonic Schizophrenia

The catatonic subtype of schizophrenia largely is dominated by difficulties in movement.  These disturbances affect people in different ways.  Some may begin to display a large reduction in movement, sometimes as dramatic as being in a completely still state. This is what is called the catatonic stupor, where voluntary motor movement ceases, but normal autonomous functioning continues as expected.  Activity can also be increased to a higher level than normal, called catatonic excitement, however none of this behavior has purpose behind it.

These purposeless movements are often repetitive and almost always meaningless.  Their dramatic presence can interfere with productivity, making everyday functioning an impossibility.  The rigidity and immobility of the catatonic stupor is a very strange phenomenon.  The schizophrenic displaying these symptoms can be extremely resistant to attempts to move them into different positions.  If placed into a certain posture, they can remain in this state for a very long time.  This maintenance of posture and resistance to movement can take on extraordinary levels of strength.

At times, these movements can mimic other people’s vocalizations and movements, resembling echolalia and echopraxia, respectively.  It can also resemble tardive dyskinesia, which is why it is important for a professional to perform the diagnosis, as these symptoms can easily be confused with other disorders.

Disorganized Schizophrenia

With this subtype of schizophrenia, the dominating symptoms all involve a disorganization of cognition.  Thinking, concentrating, and processing information all become disturbed processes that severely interfere with life, making it difficult to function and take care of the most basic fundamentals, such as feeding yourself, without some assistance.

Hallucinations, delusional thinking, and catatonic behaviors are usually at a minimum with disorganized schizophrenia.  It affects the cognition, which in turn has a negative impact on everything related to thinking, including emotional regulation.  A person may have a hard time maintaining a stable emotional state, or mustering up any emotion at all.  Their emotional responses may seem abnormal, inappropriate, and random to an outsider.

The speech of a person dealing with this cognitive disorganization may seem very confusing.  The effectiveness of their communication abilities will be drastically impaired as their thoughts move from topic to topic quickly and often with no logical consistency.  The syntax and grammar of the spoken word can become bizarre, leaving others to interpret their speech as “word salad,” a meaningless, jumbled batch of words and phrases.

Paranoid Schizophrenia

The most common type of schizophrenia is the paranoid subtype.  Paranoid schizophrenia is predominately associated with disturbances with perception.  Auditory and visual hallucinations are common, along with the delusional thinking that comes with attempting to comprehend, rationalize, and justify the hallucinations.

In addition, the paranoia leads to delusions of persecution, often with far-reaching implications such as government involvement, their family being replaced, extraterrestrial agendas, and other cosmic phenomenon.  These delusions can become very sophisticated and are validated as the schizophrenic deals with his or her delusions of reference, meaning that events and items in everyday life may take on hidden, interconnected meaning for them.

Paranoid schizophrenics can lead successful lives.  A person dealing with this mental illness can maintain a career and a family life, but in secret, hidden from the view of others, they may indulge in this paranoid fantasy realm.  It can cause significant distress, resulting in much anxiety as they attempt to balance both worlds.

These symptoms can develop slowly, so slow that the sufferer doesn’t realize that anything is wrong or that his behavior is becoming slightly more erratic and bizarre to others.  It will likely take an intervention before they gain the self-insight that something is wrong.

The individual dealing with this condition can be fully aware of their diagnosis and symptoms, and can agree outwardly with their friends, family, and doctor that these strange thoughts are truly delusions and not real, but internally may still believe the experiences he or she is having.  That is how strong these delusions can be.  The person may suddenly have a flare of anger, fear, or anxiety at seemingly inappropriate times.  This is an indication that they are responding to internal events surrounding the theme of their delusion.

Undifferentiated Schizophrenia

This is a peculiar type of schizophrenia.  The undifferentiated subtype refers to the fact that no set of symptoms is taking precedence over another.  Many symptoms associated with other subtypes may be present in equal intensities, restricting the ability of a medical professional to make a subtype classification.

The undifferentiated subtype of schizophrenia may also refer to a person who sways from one subtype to another relatively quickly, from month to month perhaps, making it difficult for there to be a stable diagnosis.  That is the main feature, then, of this subtype, being that there is no main feature.

Residual Schizophrenia

You will not often find residual schizophrenia appearing in lists of the types of schizophrenia, because it is actually the reduction in symptoms that classifies someone as under the subtype of residual schizophrenia.  The symptoms of whatever previous diagnosis the person had have lessened in intensity and severity.  They may still be exhibited, and delusions or hallucinations present, but they are no longer acute.  Their manifestations may be very slight in comparison to prior, difficult times.  A person in this state should always be concerned with a relapse of symptoms and should remain on their medication regimen as specified by their doctors.  If symptoms are reduced, medication should not be abandoned because it very well could be the medication keeping the symptoms at a minimum.

Conclusion

This describes the types of schizophrenia that are encountered by all of us who either suffer with schizophrenia or have a friend or loved one with this condition.  Psychologists and psychiatrists have done their best to determine these classifications, but it is important to remember that these labels describe symptoms, and that’s it.  They do not determine symptoms or prognosis at all.  Always keep an open mind to the flexibility of schizophrenia.

7 Comments

  1. I have undifferentiated schizophrenia. what I experience in my schizophrenia is paranoia, catatonic excitement, disorganized behavior. I have visual hallucinations, delusions, a low social interest, disorganized behavior, very unusual ways of expressing my emotions, agitation, and possibly auditory hallucinations. I am not sure if they are auditory hallucinations specifically. I have a feeling they are because they are normally very unusual noises sometimes coming from a noise making device, like a television (illusion) and sometimes they are out of nowhere. only one time I have heard someone talking that cant possibly be classified as an illusion. with my visual hallucinations I see a variety of things that can be happy and calming, and also very scary and confusing. (one of my delusions is thinking that things have emotions and in some cases function like people) I see colorful things likes shapes and lines and also the shadows of things like for example chairs. Tonight I was sitting in my kitchen and I looked at the three other chairs at the table. two out of the three chairs looked like they had chairs right beside them. the chairs that weren’t really there were the color of gray (had no color to them) and were somewhat transparent, and wherever my eyes went the chairs would leave the spot they were in and would move to a new spot, the spot were my eyes were looking. I also see numbers and letters, but not in a particular order (I do not see words, sentences, or equations) they are just randomly scattered throughout my field of vision. The scary things that I see and more like people. They are figures (often people) and they move. They watch me. They can be the colors of gray, black, or white. they will have no detail to them. I will see them anywhere at any point during the day, but mainly at night where it is dark, or in dark hallways, or even in low light (where it is dark is where they appear most) but even today I saw one in clear broad day light. I also see things move that are invisible (I know what you’re thinking “how the hell does that work” I will see light move, and in the light will be the demons. THAT IS THE THINGS THAT SCARES ME MOST. Because I don’t know what they are, what they are doing, what they are capable of, or why they are there. I AM SO SCARED RIGHT NOW BECAUSE IT IS ALMOST MIDNIGHT AND THERE IS ONE STANDING IN MY DOORWAY! HELP?

    • Breanna, now that was not funny at ALL. Schizophrenia is not a freaking joke if that’s what you’re trying to make of it. I am studying for psychology now and what you have or ‘claim’ to have, is not just schizophrenia. I suggest you see a therapist soon enough because you might need help, or rehab. I wish you well.

    • Ok, really? I have very similar things, but would you really respond like that? Generally when things like that happen to me, I don’t classify them as demons, and I most definitely DO NOT ask for help on a website. I know the things you’re going through are scary, but asking for help on the internet when a ‘demon’ is in your doorway, try ignoring them… it helps sometimes, other times it just makes it scarier. But do not lie about these things, get help, I can’t… I’m too young, no one will believe me, but please, try to find some help if you’re serious…

  2. Ok, Breanna, you totally just freaked me out. Thanks….. NOT. If anyone else is reading this, no, we are not crazy, but the user before me totally freaked me out. Not sure if trolling or just really messed up. That’s really scary.

  3. Sure Breanna, of course you have most of those Schizophrenzia types. You know, I just hate people who make up something about themselves to make them look “cool”. You wanna have Schizophrenzia? Let me tell you, it is NOT fun! Maybe you just have Histronic disorder. Go test yourself.

  4. I’m kind of disgusted that people think this is a joke. I have a close friend who sees very similar things, and it’s kind of shocking that you just assume she’s trying to troll you.
    She’s clearly very scared and panicked, and snapping at her isn’t going to help anything.

  5. Breanna, i dont think you realize that those of us who actually do have schizophrenia can clearly see that what you are describing is not schizophrenia. That sounds more like a bad acid trip to me. Also, i honestly doubt that a girl with this disorder would react to the sight of a demon standing in her door way by pulling out her phone and asking the internet for help.

Click Your State to View the Surrounding Schizophrenia Treatment Centers

To view the the schizophrenia treatment centers in your local area, please click the state in which you live on the map above or find your state in the alphabetized links above. Each respective page will lists the name, address, and contact number for each individual treatment center. You may also visit the top level page of the directory by clicking here and navigate further from there.
Read the description and visit the personal webpage of each treatment center to find out more information. You can contact them from there, but we understand that this is a tedious and intimidating process, so we've provided a form you can fill out with the requested information and we'll set you up with the most appropriate treatment center for your needs.
If you require further assistance, please don't hesitate to contact us at Schiz Life. We are here to serve the needs of the schizophrenia community and are happy to do so!

Schiz Life - Living With Schizophrenia

living with schizophrenia
For many of us, living with schizophrenia is our reality. And instead of struggling with the wish of how things “could be,” we finally come to an acceptance of our predicament and ultimately we embrace the fact of our lives: We are people dealing with schizophrenia. So then the question becomes not “Why” we suffer from this illness, but “How” we will cope and continue to enjoy our lives. We certainly will not give up! We have every right to demand the niceties, freedoms, and enjoyments of life to which all living creatures are entitled. This is what Schiz Life is all about.

Mission Statement Concerning Schizophrenia Information and Culture

Schiz Life serves to…

  • • Provide a safe haven for persons who wish to converse, cope, and share their experiences with schizophrenia in a positive manner in an attempt to celebrate the beauty of life, especially concerning our unique perspective on existence.
  • • Provide the highest quality of information concerning our psychological difficulties, including a frame of reference on the symptoms, treatment, history, and the future of schizophrenia.
  • • Take corrective action to dispel the myths and stigma surrounding schizophrenia, such as false ideas surrounding the cause, associations with violence, and others, all being perpetuated by the media by providing truth through scientific research and statistics.

Schiz Life intends to achieve this goal in the following manner:

The Schiz Life Schizophrenia Action Plan

  1. 1. We will continue to take advantage of internet outreach, contacting news agencies and other medical bloggers in hopes that they will join us in raising awareness of schizophrenia.
  2. 2. We will continue to promote this website through video and media outlets, including the dissemination of informational videos and graphics such as the first official schizophrenia infographic.
  3. 3. We will all contribute where possible off-line, including at health expo’s, psychology conferences, and any other relevant opportunity to spread the good word.

Thank You for Your Part in the Schizophrenia Journey!

We all thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for playing your role in the developing journey surrounding schizophrenia awareness and research. With all of our combined efforts, we will change the way the world perceives this illness and we will advance the medical efforts of professionals in their search for a cure and effective medicines. Thank you again!

Do Your Part!

Do you know of a great schizophrenia resource out there? Let us know! Do you see a person in need inside the comments of this site? Lend them some advice or encouragement! Are you a graphic designer or artist? Show us your work and I'm sure we can find some way to include your skills here on the site. Are you a writer who would like to contribute to the site? Shoot us an email and we'll discuss it. This site is for all of us and excludes none of us. Contact us for any reason and get involved!

Who Else is Helping?

Our content has been linked to or distributed by...

Mental Health TalkHealthy DebateTechnorati
Wellness WordworksVisuallyexaminer

...and also the sites listed below and more!

Try This Quick Schizophrenia Mini-Quiz:

This is but a quick quiz to test your general knowledge of schizophrenia. If you would like to take the extended and in-depth quiz, venture over to our Schizophrenia Quiz page and see just how much you know! Try the Schizophrenia Test to gauge your symptom levels.

Schizophrenia Quiz Directions: Please select the correct answer for each question and then press the button below to grade your quiz.

1. What is the term for perceiving stimuli that doesn't exist?




2. Which is NOT a type of schizophrenia?




3. Which of the following is a symptom of schizophrenia?




4. How common is schizophrenia in the general population?




5. Who can diagnose a case of schizophrenia?




6. How can schizophrenia be treated?




7. Are the causes of schizophrenia genetic or environmental?




8. What is the most common age of onset?




9. Catatonia is categorized as what type of symptom?




10. Is Schiz Life the best website about schizophrenia?




 

Show me the answers!

 

Question 1: The correct answer is the Hallucination.
Question 2: The correct answer is Hyperlipid.
Question 3: The correct answer is All of the Above.
Question 4: The correct answer is 1%.
Question 5: The correct answer is A Doctor.
Question 6: The correct answer is All of the Above Should Be Used.
Question 7: The correct answer is Both.
Question 8: The correct answer is 25.
Question 9: The correct answer is Negative.
Question 10: The correct answer is DON'T BE A PARTY POOPER!.
You answered them all right! Good job! You know a little something about schizophrenia, don't you!

 

How To Use This Site

If you're brand new to this site, it might look overwhelming until you get a sense of where things are at.  Schiz Life is a content-based site, much like a newspaper or a magazine.  However, we focus strictly and solely on schizophrenia.  So where does all of this content reside?  We have decided to separate our articles into several categories, as described below:

Basics

This category will be of the most interest to those who wish to gain a very broad but shallower overview of the entirety of the academic view of schizophrenia.  We cover all of the topics you'd expect to find in an abnormal psychology text book here, and at a similar depth.  It is a great introduction to this illness and will guide you further along into deeper topics.

Knowledge

We cover various angles such as statistics, research, and more factually based views of schizophrenia and place them in this category.  One could say that it is almost a repository for article that don't fit into the other categories, but it is more than that.  Go check it to find out more!

Treatment

The name says it all.  This category of content covers all topics related to the treatment and prevention of schizophrenia and its relapses.  We've started with the empirically sound and scientifically backed methods first, but we intend to venture into more holistic and alternative therapies as well.  Without investigating all options, progress wont' be made, and so we do.

Symptoms

There are countless symptoms involved in schizophrenia. We cover them in depth in this category, including the positive (outward) and negative (inward) symptoms of every type of this disorder.  There is much to read here, so if a particular symptom is giving you or a loved one trouble, this is the place to go and learn more about it.

Coping

What use is all of this information when we simply don't feel good enough to read it and learn?  The category for coping provides many ideas that you can apply to your own life to help you maintain the best health possible, physically, psychologically, and spiritually.  Schizophrenia is a mental illness that some of us simply cannot escape, but we can learn to live with it, minimize its problematic aspects, and take advantage of some of the aspects it unlocks within us that others don't have!

Culture

Let's face it.  People are afraid of what they don't understand.  This category addresses the cultural issue of schizophrenia and it's impacts on the way we are treated or perceived by the masses.  It is up to us to represent ourselves in the best light and to combat the myths and misunderstandings that exist in the world concerning our plight.  Learn about these issues here and apply them in your lives!

Spectrum

There are other classifications of illnesses that are very closely related to schizophrenia.  The only differences might just be a research label actually, but we have found it useful to place these articles in a category of their own.  We deal with schizophreniform and psychosis disorders and their respective symptoms here.

Spirituality

While the medical community deals with schizophrenia as a psychological or physical disorder of the brain, those of us who actually experience it know it is much more.  It is a philosophical, spiritual, metaphysical, and mythological issue.  Coming to terms with this, confronting it, integrating it, and reconciling it leads to much higher functioning not only as an individual diagnosed with schizophrenia but as a member of society in general.  We have a deeper access to this aspect of life and have a great opportunity for learning and healing.

Artwork

Many of us past and present have chosen to express ourselves through the arts.  Whether this is painting and drawing, poetry, dancing, or any other artform, it is healthy and beautiful.  We are writing biographies, displaying artwork, and welcoming submissions from our own community to be included here in this category!  Please submit if you have something to share!

News

The internet has opened up the world.  There is a constant flow of news concerning our illness but you wouldn't know it by watching the television.  We cover new research topics, treatment modalities, and nationwide and worldwide coverage of schizophrenia or incidents related to it in this category!

Other Items

We have also included other items of interest throughout our website.  For instance, we are producing a series of infographics to help educate the public on this topic.  We also are collecting and reviewing books concerning the illness.  In addition, we have created a directory for the United States of all treatment facilities and hospitals that have staff that are trained to work with schizophrenia cases.  Please look around and find these sections and more.

Disclaimer

There is something that was slightly mentioned in the footer of the site, but that could be overlooked easily so we felt it was the responsible thing to do to create a large disclaimer to be displayed here on the homepage.  This has to do completely with safety.  Let us explain.

Individual Uniqueness

unique individualEvery individual on this planet is a unique person.  Even more so, those of us dealing with this special psychological difficulty are even more unique, if that makes sense.  On this site, we are talking about one of the most complex brain mysteries ever and it expresses itself through every person differently.  Every case is going to have it's own peculiarities and all we are able to do in the articles on the site is speak in generalities.  We invite anyone to leave appropriate comments and engage in discussion, however we can't take responsibility for their words.  Nor can we take responsibility for the actions of any individual or group who have at one time or another visited our website.

Always Consult a Medical Professional

medical professionalIf you find yourself in a situation where you're trying to learn more about your condition or are trying to cope through a moment of crisis, please do not act upon any of the information listed on this site, whether in the main content or comments, without first corroborating the accuracy of the info with a medical professional first.  Reach out to a general practitioner, psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor.  Even then it's always helpful to have a second opinion from a separate professional as well.  Again, we must stress... always act with safety as the foremost concern, and this means consulting professionals before engaging in any practice intended to treat your condition.

Please Be Considerate About Delusions

delusion discussionWe understand that delusions can be very confusing and convincing.  We also understand that delusions can center around topics that simply are too philosophical to be proven wrong or correct and thus are tempting to explore in-depth.  We have no problem with this exploration as long as it is not harmful to those discussing it.  Please use your best discretion in this regard.  If the staff of Schiz Life step in and begin deleting comments or halting a conversation, please respect their decision and understand it is not personal.

Investigating delusions is encouraged.  Delusions are interesting due to their nature of being understood as strange and outside the norm of the culture of the experiencer, but there is a vast number of individuals visiting this site from many cultures.  There is a subtle difference between discussing these topics, and encouraging or trolling.  Please find that balance and abide by the above suggestions.

We also, under no circumstances, will tolerate anyone discussing or suggesting harming themselves or others.  Past-tense symptom discussion in this regard is fine, but nothing in the future tense will be allowed.

General Discussion Guidelines

We encourage discussion in the comments as much as possible and are looking into offering a forum and personal blogs as well.  In all of these mediums when carrying on conversation, there are some useful questions to ask yourself before posting that comment or response.

The main question to ask yourself is the following:

Is what I'm about to post going to help and support or will it further entrench illness and suffering?

Please consider this as you enjoy Schiz Life.  Try not to post angry or hurtful comments.  Try not to criticize or blame others.  Be as supportive, encouraging, and respecting as you can.  Accepting and negotiating differences is key to carrying on constructive conversation.

Remember, there is a real person on the other side of the screen.  It's easy to assume the other person is in a similar situation as yourself, but you don't know the extent of their emotions, symptoms, nor their age or even gender.

Let's Do This Together!

Let's have a supportive and comforting community where we all feel open and able to share as much as possible.  If you receive support from someone, please pay that forward and try to help out someone else.  If we all do this, we should all be okay!  Thank you for reading and enjoying this thing we are building together.

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