What Are the Different Types Of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia as per the Oxford Concise Medical Dictionary, denote a mental disorder characterized by a breakdown of thought processes and by poor emotional responsiveness. It is apparent in the behavioral pattern of the patient impairing the normal life of self and the people around. Schizophrenia disrupts the cognitive processes and ability to assess the surroundings and elicit proper responses. The patient might bear symptoms like auditory hallucinations, weird delusions, disorganized speech and thinking, coupled with the disability to meet social and occupational demands. Schizophrenia at present is believed to affect about 1% of the United States population. It is prevalent in all races, cultures, sexes and social strata. The disorder could be caused by various factors like genetics, early environment, neurobiology and psychological and social processes. Few drugs like cocaine and cannabis could also contribute towards the onset of the disease.

The people affected with schizophrenia display a wide array of symptoms. These symptoms are not constant but keep on changing in the various stages of the disease. 5 subtypes of schizophrenia are present based on the most significant characteristics displayed by a patient at a particular time.

Paranoid Subtype- this subtype is characterized by auditory hallucinations and delusions, but the patient normally retains cognitive functioning and elicits sane emotional responses. People suffering from this disorder might believe that others are spying on them, cheating them, tormenting them, deceiving them or conspiring against them or their loved ones. They may also hear voices ordering them, warning them or even talking amongst themselves. As these symptoms are not very obvious people suffering are not diagnosed at the early stage and they continue with the normal functioning of life till late.

Disorganized subtype- disorganization of the normal life processes are the most prominent feature of this subtype. People suffering are unable to elicit sane emotional responses, also their daily life functioning like brushing, bathing, dressing etc. is severely impaired.  To a normal individual their emotional responses are either flat with blank facial expressions or highly inappropriate like eliciting a chuckle during mourning. They experience an impediment in normal thought process with often feeling being bereaved of thoughts. The speech may become non comprehensive and garbled.

Catatonic subtype- this subtype is characterized by involuntary physical movements and weird mannerisms.  Their movements can be restricted to a catatonic immobility or an extremely high state of dramatic movement termed as catatonic excitement. They show resistance in changing positions and can continue the same position for hours, a symptom termed as waxy flexibility. They may also repeat the movements of another person termed as echopraxia or display parrot like repetition of others, called as echolalia.

Undifferentiated subtype-this subtype lacks any particular feature but is characterized by a mixed display of other subtypes. The characteristics are not well evident or obvious to be classified under any other category.

Residual subtype- when a person displays significant lessening of the symptoms in intensity, severity and frequency it is termed as residual schizophrenia. Symptoms like hallucination, delusion or weird behavioral patterns could be present but in very tolerable and insignificant manner.