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Schizophrenia is characterized by a disintegration of thinking processes and emotional responsiveness. It is most commonly manifested through bizarre delusions, auditory hallucinations, disorganized thinking and speech, and paranoid delusions. It may eventually lead to social or occupational dysfunction. Symptoms generally occur in young adulthood and may be diagnosed based on a person's self-reported experiences and observed behaviors. The reliability of a schizophrenia diagnosis is generally high; however, some symptoms overlap with major depression and bipolar. The exact cause of schizophrenia is unknown, though it is likely a combination of factors including genetics and environment. Schizophrenia is significantly affected by heredity and its onset is significantly influenced by environmental stressors.

Psychotherapy for Schizophrenia

Psychotherapy is widely recommended and used in treating schizophrenia. Psychotherapy can help those affected with schizophrenia to increase social skills, develop higher self-esteem, and gain insight to the mental health issues. In severe episodes of schizophrenia, hospitalization may occur. This may be voluntary or involuntary based on the situation. Schizophrenia may lead to other medical issues that need to be treated.


Types of Schizophrenia in the DSM

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV) defines schizophrenia as a mental disorder characterized by disintegrating emotional responsiveness and thought processes. There are five different types of schizophrenia listed:

  1. Catatonic – involves motorological and psychological disturbances; also known as catatonia
  2. Disorganized – involves reality distortion (delusions and hallucinations) and psychomotor poverty (poverty of speech); also known as foldermenia
  3. Paranoid – thought disorder and disorganized behavior are absent but hallucinations and delusions are present
  4. Residual – involves low intensity positive symptoms
  5. Undifferentiated – psychotic symptoms are present but criteria for the above types have not been met


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Last updated: 05-02-2014


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