Schizophrenia Types – What Are They?

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Many researchers now believe that schizophrenia might be more than one disorder. It isn’t hard to see why when we consider the wide range of symptoms associated with schizophrenia and the fact that two people, both with schizophrenia, can have a very different set of symptoms.

In order to cater for the different symptoms and the way they present, schizophrenia has been divided into several sub categories or types. Before we explore what they are, we should first give a brief description of what schizophrenia is and what is known about it.

Very little is actually known about Schizophrenia despite the number of research studies that have been conducted although on saying that, more is being revealed all the time.

What is known is that Schizophrenia is mental disorder for which there is no known single cause and no known cure. Potential triggers that have been implicated include genetics, brain abnormalities, brain chemistry and psychological triggers. It is characterised by hallucinations and delusions, disorganised thinking and speech and impairment in cognitive and social functioning.

Paranoid Schizophrenia

People with paranoid schizophrenia will often experience delusions and feel persecuted or conspired against, believing that people are ‘out to get them’. They will often have auditory hallucinations where they hear voices criticising them or telling them what to do.

Catatonic Schizophrenia

Symptoms associated with Catatonic schizophrenia affect movement. Patients may sit staring into space for hours on end, assume unusual or what would appear uncomfortable body positions, they may also resist being moved. Sometimes they stop moving altogether and this is known as a catatonic stupor. At the other end of the scale movement can increase dramatically leading to catatonic excitement. There may also be symptoms of echolalia (repeating what another person is saying) or echopraxia (mimicking the movements of another person).

Disorganised Schizophrenia

The most prominent symptom of disorganised schizophrenia is disorganised thought processes and incoherent speech which can make it very difficult for the sufferer to cope with their daily routines. Delusions and hallucinations may be present but don’t tend to be extreme.

Residual Schizophrenia

This type may be diagnosed when the symptoms have diminished somewhat. Yes the person may still experience hallucinations and delusions but they are not severe.

Undifferentiated Schizophrenia

If there are symptoms of schizophrenia but these symptoms keep fluctuating and are not specific enough to be attributed to a particular type of schizophrenia or when it isn’t clear which type they belong to, then undifferentiated schizophrenia may be diagnosed.

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