Schizophrenia Subtypes

  • The focus on schizophrenia continues here with an introduction to the five subtypes.

    It is thought that those people who have paranoid schizophrenia respond better to treatment and have a better outcome. This is one of the prevailing thoughts and of course with all statistics there are exceptions.

    The five SZ subtypes are disorganized, undifferentiated, paranoid, catatonic and residual. A change to the DSM-V when it is published in 2012 is that the schizophrenia subtypes will possibly disappear, along with the diagnosis of schizoaffective.


    A change being considered to the DSM-V is that under the diagnosing criteria it will most likely state that a psychiatrist should automatically and immediately test his patient for the symptom of anosognosia, or the lack of awareness that you have an illness, so that a long-acting injectable or LAI is used as the first choice of treatment if this symptom is present.

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    Disorganized schizophrenia requires exactly what it describes: disorganized speech, thinking and behavior, along with flat or inappropriate emotional responses. A person with this type of SZ often lacks the ability to engage in goal-directed activity.

    Undifferentiated schizophrenia occurs when a person has the positive and negative symptoms of SZ yet does not fit the specific criteria for the disorganized, paranoid or catatonic versions. The hallmark symptoms of this subtype are delusions, hallucinations, extremely disorganized behavior and negative symptoms.

    Paranoid schizophrenia involves the presence of false beliefs (delusions) and hearing voices with nearly normal cognitive functioning and emotions. Some people with paranoid schizophrenia hear voices, and others do not and only have delusions.

    Catatonic schizophrenia refers to the tendency of a person to be physically rigid and refuse to speak. Their movements could be exited or abnormal.

    Residual schizophrenia occurs after a person has had a schizophrenic episode and currently does not have delusions or hallucinations, or disorganized speech or catatonic behavior. They will show some symptoms like a lack of emotional expression, lack of motivation to start and follow through on goals and odd beliefs. Their behavior might be eccentric.

    I'm reluctant to parrot any of the statistics I've read about the 10 year and 30 year outcomes for SZ as it's my goal at SchizophreniaConnection to remain positive and always offer people hope. The truth of the statistics points out that even among people who do less well good improvement is possible. That's something to hang our hats on if you ask me, along with the reality that a significant number of people DO recover.

    The last SharePost for this month will talk in detail about schizophrenia treatments and support for people diagnosed with this illness.

Published On: July 24, 2011