What Is Undifferentiated Schizophrenia?

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Undifferentiated schizophrenia is diagnosed when the individual’s symptoms cannot be assigned to any one of the other types of schizophrenia or when the symptoms of more than one type of schizophrenia are present.

Sub types of schizophrenia

•    Paranoid schizophrenia – hallucinations and delusions are present but no disorganised speech or behaviour
•    Disorganised schizophrenia – Disorganised thinking, speech and behaviour
•    Catatonic schizophrenia – bizarre body movements and positions, echolalia and echopraxia may be present, in extreme cases a complete lack of responsiveness
•    Residual schizophrenia – no longer showing positive symptoms but negative symptoms still present
•    Undifferentiated schizophrenia – no clear category of schizophrenia can be identified

So if there is no clear indication as to which type of schizophrenia the individual is suffering from or if there is fluctuating or a mixed set of symptoms, undifferentiated schizophrenia might be diagnosed. Symptoms of schizophrenia are generally classified into positive and negative symptoms/

Positive symptoms of schizophrenia

The positive symptoms of schizophrenia include hallucinations, delusions and disorganised thinking, speech and behaviour.

Hallucinations are perceptions of something as real in the absence of any physical stimuli. They can affect any one of the senses.

•    Visual hallucinations – seeing something that isn’t there and that other people cannot see
•    Auditory hallucinations – hearing something that isn’t there, and that other people cannot hear. This may take the form of voices telling them what to do, having conversations with them, criticising them etc.
•    Tactile hallucinations – Feeling something touching you or something on the skin that isn’t there
•    Olfactory hallucinations – hallucinations involving the sense of smell
•    Gustatory hallucinations – hallucinations involving the sense of taste

Delusions can be described as believing in something (false beliefs) that is obviously untrue despite evidence to the contrary.

•    Delusions of grandeur, for example, believing that you can fly, that you are a secret spy or that you are famous
•    Delusions of persecution where the individual believes he is being plotted against and others have harmful intentions towards them
•    Delusions of reference, for example, where everyday things take on a special significance and are directly related to the individual, such as believing that television and radio broadcasts are sending them secret messages
•    Somatic delusions may involve the body such as a belief that they are suffering from a terrible illness

Disorganised thinking, speech and behaviour

Thoughts are disorganised and speech becomes rambling, incoherent or nonsensical to the extent that it severely impairs communication. Behaviour might be bizarre and purposeless or catatonic.

Negative symptoms of schizophrenia

Negative symptoms of schizophrenia are more difficult to diagnose and include a flattening of speech and the emotions, lack of facial expression, apathy, disinterest, inappropriate social skills and social withdrawal.

Undifferentiated Diagnosis

There isn’t a test that can diagnose schizophrenia so diagnosis depends on reporting of the symptoms by the individual or family members and observation. Consequently it can take a significant amount of time to obtain a diagnosis particularly with undifferentiated schizophrenia as the symptoms do not clearly fit one of the other subtypes of schizophrenia.

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1 Comment

  1. ziggiezoe
    Posted November 4, 2010 at 3:19 am | Permalink

    what is the most commen people get this illness

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