The 5 Types Of Schizophrenia: How To Identify This Disorder?

What is schizophrenia and what are its symptoms? Are there really different types of schizophrenia? Discover how to identify the characteristics of schizophrenia.

What are the different types of schizophrenia that exist?

Schizophrenia is a mental health condition that affects an individual’s thoughts and behaviors. This condition is characterized by a wide variety of symptoms, such as delusions, hallucinations and unusual ways of thinking. Therefore, it is possible to distinguish different types of schizophrenia that help us detect this disorder.

What is schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a mental health disorder that disturbs our thinking and perception about life. In this way, one of the characteristics of schizophrenia is that people who suffer from it usually have their interactions with the world affected.

A schizophrenic You can hear voices, become paranoid, believe that you have unusual powers as well as think that others control your thoughts or vice versa.

This great variety of symptoms from different types of schizophrenia can make your diagnosis more complicated. Therefore, it is important to know what the characteristics of schizophrenia and its types are.

Are there different types of schizophrenia?

We must clarify that this classification of different types of schizophrenia no longer exists within the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) since its update in 2013. Still, these types of schizophrenia can be useful in detecting the disorder in some cases. Despite this, the diagnosis should always be made by a mental health professional.

Today, psychologists and psychiatrists no longer use these categories. The reason for this is that the schizophrenia symptoms and the types specified in the previous version of the DSM-V tended to have low diagnostic accuracy since they overlapped between the different typologies.

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This is because in most cases the characteristics of schizophrenia vary from one patient to another. Therefore, its diagnosis should always be made in the hands of a mental health professional.

Types of schizophrenia according to the DSM-IV

As we have indicated, the DSM-IV, the previous Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders, classified this condition into different types of schizophrenia Currently, since the update of the DSM in 2013, they are no longer recognized in the diagnosis. Despite this, they can help us as a guide to diagnose this disorder.

1. Paranoid schizophrenia

The one called as paranoid schizophrenia It was mainly characterized by obsessive thoughts, normally related to feeling watched or persecuted, as well as the appearance of delusions or hallucinations (which may or may not exist). These symptoms of schizophrenia are very common in most people who suffer from this disorder.

Symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia

  • Delusions: False and unrealistic beliefs that people refuse to stop believing despite evidence to the contrary. For example, affected people may believe that they are God or that aliens read their minds, among others.
  • Hallucinations: People who suffer from paranoid schizophrenia They used to have unreal sensations called hallucinations. In them, individuals can hear voices, feel different sensations on the skin, see certain objects or have visions of objects or people that do not exist.
  • Disorganized speech: In many cases these types of schizophrenia They were diagnosed when the patients also perceived that there was very disorganized communication. This involved saying sentences without much meaning, great difficulty communicating with others or maintaining conversations.
  • Difficult to focus: A schizophrenic He usually has concentration problems that make it difficult for him to understand certain knowledge.
  • Relationship problems: On many occasions, people who were diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia They used to present different problems in their personal relationships due to a decrease in impulse control as well as certain outbursts of irritability. Additionally, those who suffer from schizophrenia also often experience mood swings that make it difficult for them to maintain a connection with others.
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Schizophrenia and its types

2. Disorganized schizophrenia

Another of the characteristics of schizophrenia It is the disorganized behavior that people who suffer from this disorder usually present. In the previous classification, this was one of the types of schizophrenia that was diagnosed. In this, it was usually identified that people had speeches and behaviors that were meaningless or inappropriate to the context. Unlike paranoid schizophrenia, sufferers do not have hallucinations or delusions.

Symptoms of disorganized schizophrenia

  • Slow movements: People who were diagnosed with one of these types of schizophrenia They used to move very slowly.
  • Difficulty making decisions: In addition to having slow movements, those with these types of schizophrenia They also tended to have difficulties when making decisions of any kind.
  • Repetition of movements: For example, the people with disorganized schizophrenia They used to perform repetitive movements such as walking from one side to the other or going in circles.
  • Disorganized speech: These types of schizophrenia They were also diagnosed when the patient tended to present very disorganized speech and thinking.

3. Catatonic schizophrenia

A catatonic or catatonic is a person who suffers from the so-called ‘catatonic excitement’ where excessive movements are made or on the contrary a ‘catatonic stupor’ where a decrease in movement occurs. For example, people who were diagnosed with catatonic schizophrenia tended to present mutism (that is, they could not speak in certain situations), or repetition of another person’s words (echolalia) or imitation of the actions of others (echopraxis). . The sadness in these cases should not be confused with selective mutism, since it is a very different disorder.

In reality, catatonia not only appears as one of the schizophrenia symptoms but it may be related to other disorders (such as bipolar disorder).

Symptoms of catatonic schizophrenia

  • Imitation of behavior: One of the characteristics of catatonic state is that people often imitate the behavior of others.
  • Mutism: mutism is also related to a catatonic affectation That is, people usually cannot speak in front of others.
  • Fixed position: Finally, the catatonic or catatonic It usually remains in a fixed position for a long time.
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Main symptoms of schizophrenia

4. Undifferentiated schizophrenia

These types of schizophrenia They included all those symptoms that did not fit with paranoid, disorganized or catatonic schizophrenia. That is, this schizophrenia was diagnosed when the symptoms of the different distinctions that we have mentioned were shared.

5. Residual schizophrenia

The residual schizophrenia It was diagnosed when a person no longer had serious symptoms of the disorder or simply when they were of lesser intensity. Typically, these types of schizophrenia included the so-called ‘negative’ symptoms of schizophrenia, that is, those that involve an absence or decrease in normal functioning in a person.

Symptoms of residual schizophrenia

  • Lack of emotions: People with these types of schizophrenia They used to experience few emotions in their daily lives.
  • Social isolation: Normally, the people with residual schizophrenia They ended up isolating themselves from others and trying to avoid meeting family, friends or any social activity.
  • Fatigue: In many cases, people with these types of schizophrenia They had a feeling of constant fatigue.
  • Lack of motivation: These types of disorders They also implied a lack of attention and motivation towards daily tasks, even those activities that were previously enjoyed.

6. Schizoaffective disorder

It is a mood disorder that combines the coexistence of schizophrenia with a mood disorder. People who suffer from this type of schizophrenia They usually present symptoms typical of both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Despite the distinctions, the reality is that these may be some of the symptoms that people who suffer from schizophrenia can present. Therefore, if you see yourself reflected in many of them, it is important that you consult with a mental health professional.

We must remember that currently psychologists and psychiatrists no longer use these terms to diagnose schizophrenia. Therefore, many of the symptoms of different types of schizophrenia jointly and mixed.