Through the centuries, the word “illness” has lost the weight it once held.
When you add the word “mental,” it changes things. People may not be afraid of fevers anymore, but they do fear illnesses that affect the mind.
One of the most well-known mental illness is schizophrenia. Different types of schizophrenia exist, each with its symptoms, challenges, and treatments.
People have many assumptions about schizophrenia, but often, they have little knowledge. We hope to change that.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with schizophrenia, we want to help you understand all that this entails. The scariest part of fighting a disease is the unknown.
Different Types of Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a rare condition. In the US, about 0.25% to 0.64% of the population is schizophrenic.
Schizophrenia is often difficult to diagnose. This is because schizophrenia symptoms overlap with those of other mental illnesses.
In the past, there were other factors that made diagnosing schizophrenia complicated. This was because of the five types of schizophrenia.
These types are paranoid, hebephrenic, residual, catatonic, and undifferentiated.
As of 2013, the American Psychiatric Association decided not to use these categories. Instead, they preferred to see schizophrenia as a spectrum to make it easier to diagnose.
Yet, these categories are still considered helpful by medical professionals in understanding schizophrenia. Following this practice, we will explain these types below.
Of all the schizophrenic classifications, this is the most popular. It is the one most often depicted in media and popular culture. Experts still use paranoia to diagnose schizophrenia.
These schizophrenia symptoms tend to be positive. They manifest in behaviors and emotions not before experienced before.
- Delusions – this refers to fixed false beliefs that demonstrably conflict with reality
- Hallucinations – these can be both visual or auditory (‘hearing voices”)
- Fixation – often, paranoid schizophrenia leads one to fixate on a particular delusion
Bear in mind that these symptoms may not occur all at once. Symptoms can come and go; they do not have to exist alongside one another.
Hebephrenic schizophrenia is often distinguished by disorganization. When discussing schizophrenia, disorganization usually means disordered thoughts or speech.
This disorder can also apply to everyday behaviors, the sorts of things one does in a daily routine. This manifests in the following ways.
- Difficulty with personal hygiene and daily self-care
- Having emotional reactions inappropriate or exceeding appropriate levels for a given situation
- Misusing words or using them in the wrong order
- Difficulty thinking clearly or responding appropriately
- Use made-up or nonsensical words (also known as neologisms)
- Produce a great volume of writing without it making coherent sense
- Moving quickly between thoughts without any logical connection or coherence
- Give unrelated answers to questions asked of you
- Frequently forgetting or misplacing things
- Frequent pacing
- Social withdrawal
These are the majority of hebephrenic schizophrenia symptoms. However, there are other symptoms out there that you may come across.
Residual schizophrenia is the third common classification. This one is a bit harder to detect than the preceding two.
A person with residual schizophrenia is not likely to have positive symptoms. Rarely does a person with residual schizophrenia display delusions or hallucinations. Instead, their symptoms tend to be negative.
- Difficulty showing emotion
- Muted facial expressions or expressive gestures
- Some disorganized speech or communicative ability, such as incoherent speech or rambling
- Social withdrawal
Symptoms of schizophrenia often overlap with those of other conditions and illnesses. Mental illnesses can be comorbidities with one another. You should always seek a professional diagnosis in these matters.
A person with catatonic schizophrenia exhibits symptoms that overlap with catatonia. Professionals define catatonia by either excessive or decreased movement.
- Stupor – unresponsiveness to many stimuli
- Mutism – a lack of speech
- Echolalia – repeating back what others say
- Echopraxia – imitating the movements of others
- Involuntary Movements – movements such as rocking back and forth
- Catalepsy – rigidity of the muscles, lack of responsiveness to external stimuli.
The fifth classification of schizophrenia is “undifferentiated.” This refers to schizophrenia that manifests symptoms of the other subcategories.
As such, this version of the illness got its own classification. Its symptoms can come in many kinds.
- Social Withdrawal
- Disorganization in thought or speech
- Neglect of personal hygiene or daily routine tasks
What Options Exist
One must understand that there currently is no cure for schizophrenia. The illness can be dormant due to effective treatment, but it won’t completely go away.
Be that as it may, several treatments have proven effective.
The most effective way of treating schizophrenia comes in two parts. First, the patient must take antipsychotic drugs. Second, they need to attend therapy.
Antipsychotic drugs are the primary medication used to treat schizophrenia. They are a class of medications that target psychotic symptoms. These include delusion, hallucination, and paranoia.
There are two types of antipsychotic medications, typically classified as first-generation and second-generation medication.
Second-generation antipsychotics get prescribed more often, as they have softer side effects.
Therapeutic relationships are also crucial in treating schizophrenia. A therapist can help a patient overcome negative symptoms, such as social withdrawal. They are vital assets in helping patients live a healthy lifestyle.
Our Treatment System
The Mental Health Center of San Diego has an excellent schizophrenia treatment system. Our methods rely on expert professionals, evidence-based therapy, and aftercare support.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with one of the different types of schizophrenia, please visit our website today to seek effective treatment that’s right for you.