Schizophrenia is a group of psychotic disorders that interfere with thinking and mental or emotional responsiveness. It is a disease of the brain. The term schizophrenia, which means "split mind," was first used in 1911 by Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler to categorize patients whose thought processes and emotional responses seemed disconnected. Despite its name, the condition does not cause a split personality.
Types of Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia includes the following subtypes:
- Paranoid-type schizophrenia is marked by delusions of persecution or conspiracy and is often accompanied by auditory hallucinations
- Disorganized-type schizophrenia is marked by disordered thought processes, manifested in disorganized speech and behavior, and includes flat affect (absence of appropriate emotional responsiveness)
- Catatonic-type schizophrenia is marked by aberrations in movement including agitation and lethargy
- Undifferentiated-type schizophrenia is a category used when symptoms do not clearly fall into one of the above subtypes
- Residual-type schizophrenia is used to describe patients who have had a history of schizophrenia but whose symptoms have diminished or become less severe.
Review Date: 01/27/2011
Reviewed By: Harvey Simon, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.