What Are the Subtypes of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is characterized by breakdown of a person’s thought processes and hence impaired emotional responses. It manifests itself in terms of paranoid delusions, disorganization of speech, thoughts and also auditory hallucinations. It may also be accompanied by social and occupational dysfunctions and loss of productivity in team roles. The onset of Schizophrenia for most people is in their young adulthood. On the other hand, diagnosis of Schizophrenia mostly depends on observations of behavior change and also use of the patient’s personal experiences.

The symptoms that are used to define if someone is suffering from Schizophrenia are varied greatly.  They may also change from one year to another of course as the disease progresses.  There a number of Subtypes of Schizophrenia that is defined today.  You may be diagnosed with the different subtypes throughout the length of the illness.  Below are the subtypes and some brief descriptions.

Paranoid subtype

This is characterized by auditory hallucinations or delusional thoughts that are tied to conspiracy and persecution.  People in this category are much energetic and also engage in relationships with other people in the other subtypes. Most of the patients in this category do not exhibit any serious symptoms and you would only realize that they are suffering from the condition in later stages.  The affected people will also be viewed as leading normal lives by controlling the disorder in the right manner. 

Also worth noting is that paranoid subtype is most common.   People who are diagnosed with this condition would not appear that much affected by the condition. In most cases they may not be in a place to discuss the illness.  The person who is affected would have general behaviors that are closely tied to the kind of disturbance thought.  In most cases patients in the paranoid subtype would seek medical attention when the symptoms seem to be running out of control.

There are no much observable features and therefore in the assessment of the condition, the sufferer needs to be much open and discuss their thoughts without much fear.  However in cases of paranoia, the patient may tend to be reluctant in discussing their situation.

Disorganized subtype

Just like the name implies, the most predominant feature in this subtype is disorganization of thoughts.  You may not witness hallucinations and delusions although at times these symptoms may appear.  Patients in this category suffer impairment in terms of maintaining activities in their daily living.  Some routine chores like dressing, brushing teeth, and even bathing may be impaired or even lost.

The individual also suffers impairment of a number of emotional processes.  The patient may be unstable emotionally.  Most of the mental physicians term this condition as the flat effect.  If you see someone with giddy or jocular appearance, they may as well fall in this category.

People who are diagnosed with this condition may experience difficulty in terms of communicating openly.  Sometimes their speeches may become incomprehensible. This is mainly due to the disorganization of thinking.

Catatonic subtype

Patients who fall in the catatonic sub type experience movement disturbances. There may also be a dramatic reduction in activity, a condition known as catatonic stupor. On the other hand, one may develop catatonic excitement which points to increase in activity.

The patient might also experience some disturbances in movement. The affected may seem to adopt repetitive tasks.  On the other hand, the affected person may tend to resist any form of movement or change.

Undifferentiated subtype

This is diagnosed at the time when one shows the schizophrenia symptoms. The symptoms may tend to fluctuate at ay point in time as well.  The diagnosis in this category properly describes the clinical syndrome.

Residual subtype

This subtype would be diagnosed when patients do not display any symptoms that are prominent.  Ideally, in this case, the symptoms would have lessened in terms of severity.  There are few cases of delusions and hallucinations in this subtype.