One of the first things to keep in mind when you are seeking information on schizophrenia for yourself or for loved ones is that schizophrenia is considered a psychosis; and unlike neuroses, wherein a sufferer can have many or most or all of the â€œsymptomsâ€, with a psychosis, the patient has ALL of the symptoms. So when you do find some interesting, fascinating, helpful information on schizophrenia, do not try to self-diagnose. Read more, ask more specialists, and see the appropriate mental health and/or medical professionals.
That said, so those of us borderline hypochondriacs who find a new malady once a week will be spared the panic of said information on schizophrenia, here are the clinical details of the disorder once termed Dementia Praecox (and coined schizophrenie, from the Greek, â€œsplit mind,â€ by Bleuler in the early 1900s):
While for decades, schizophrenia was categorizedâ€”into Hebephrenia, Catatonia, and other separate schizophrenias, today many specialists understand schizophrenia in general to include symptoms such as hallucinating, experiencing delusions, having â€œderailedâ€ or incoherent speech; and displaying what one expert identifies as â€œgrossly disorganized or catatonic behavior.â€
But further, mental health professionals categorize their information on schizophrenia in the following way, according to their assertion that there are five â€œrecognized subtypesâ€ of schizophrenia which are 1) paranoid schizophrenia, 2) disorganized schizophrenia, 3) catatonic schizophrenia, 4) undifferentiated schizophrenia, and what they call 5) residual schizophrenia.
An individual with paranoid schizophrenia characteristically shows evidence of â€œprominentâ€ delusions, those which are typically auditory and which usually come and go during an episode. The individual may experience delusions of grandeur (how great am I) or persecution (X is/are after me) or what doctors call command hallucinations, wherein someone or thing is commanding him or her to carry out untraditional, unusual, illogical, or illegal acts. Other symptoms for the paranoid schizophrenic include anxiety, fright, anger, apathy, and/or recalcitrance or an argumentative attitude.
An individual diagnosed with hebephrenic schizophreniaâ€”now called disorganized typeâ€”will typically have flat (no) or inappropriate affect (laughing when there is no relevant humor, for instance), and will be disorganized in speech. Personal goals and abilities are limited, so the individual may be anything from unable to care for him- or herself to unable to â€œsustain goal-oriented activitiesâ€â€¦.
For more information on schizophrenia, check Mental Help Net; Health-X; Psych-net.uk; and then consider a personal doctor or referral to a specialist, so the suspected psychotic disorder can be tested and evaluated and, if necessary, treated.