Schizophrenia is a persistent mental health disorder characterized by disturbances in the coherence between thought, emotion, and behavior. This disruption results in distorted perceptions, inappropriate behaviors and emotions, and detachment from reality. Individuals with schizophrenia may experience instances where personal relationships become intertwined with fantasy and delusion, leading to a sense of mental fragmentation. They often encounter challenges in managing emotions, maintaining rational and clear thinking, and engaging in meaningful interactions and relationships with others.

Schizophrenia Facts:

  • Schizophrenia affects about 1.1% of the world’s population and is one of the top 15 leading causes of disability worldwide
  • 3.5 million Americans have schizophrenia
  • Schizophrenia is most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 16 to 25
  • Schizophrenia can have a genetic component and runs in families
  • Men are more commonly effected compared to women
  • Schizophrenia and its treatment have an enormous effect on the economy, costing between $38-$65 billion each year
  • Individuals with schizophrenia have an increased risk of premature mortality (death at a younger age than the general population)
  • Very high comorbidity with other medical diagnosis such as heart disease, COPD, obesity
  • The estimated average potential life lost for individuals with schizophrenia in the U.S. is 28.5 years.

Schizophrenia is associated with psychosis, a condition where an individual’s perception of reality may be distorted or altered. Some common examples of psychosis and Schizophrenia symptoms include:

  • Hallucinations: Seeing or hearing things that aren’t there. They can be both auditory (voices inside ones head) or visual (ghosts, shadows, or people)
  • Delusions: Fixed, false, firm beliefs despite evidence to the contrary. Mistaken but firmly held beliefs that are easy to prove wrong, like thinking one has superpowers, are the president of the U.S., or aliens that are out to harm you
  • Disorganized speech: Using words and sentences that don’t make sense to others or go together.
    Strange behavior: Acting in an odd or repetitive way, like walking in circles,
  • Withdrawn and anhedonic: Showing no feelings or motivation, or lacking interest in normal daily activities

Schizophrenia old nomenclature (new nomenclature viewed as a spectrum of illness but this will often help)

Paranoid schizophrenia

This is the predominant subtype of schizophrenia, often emerging later in life. Symptoms typically include hallucinations and/or delusions, with speech and emotions remaining relatively unaffected. The nature of these hallucinations or delusions often revolves around paranoia, such as believing that governmental agencies or law enforcement are plotting against the individual despite the absence of any wrongdoing.

Hebephrenic schizophrenia

Hebephrenic schizophrenia, also referred to as disorganized schizophrenia, commonly emerges during late adolescence to early adulthood, typically between the ages of 15 and 25. Symptoms are characterized by disorganized behaviors and thoughts, as well as transient delusions and/or hallucinations. Individuals may exhibit disorganized speech patterns, making communication challenging for others. Additionally, those with disorganized schizophrenia often display a limited range of emotions or may appear emotionally blunted.

Catatonic schizophrenia

Catatonic schizophrenia represents the rarest subtype of schizophrenia and is characterized by atypical and severely limited movements. Individuals with this diagnosis may alternate between periods of being very active or very still. Communication may be minimal, and individuals may exhibit mimicry, such as copying the speech and movements of others.

Undifferentiated schizophrenia

One may show signs of paranoid, catatonic or hebephrenic schizophrenia. It does not fall neatly into any of these other categories.

Residual schizophrenia

Residual schizophrenia may be diagnosed in individuals with a history of psychosis who predominantly exhibit negative symptoms. These symptoms commonly include slowed movements, cognitive impairments such as poor memory and concentration, and a decline in personal hygiene.


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