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How Common Is Disorganized Schizophrenia

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The 10 Most Common Signs Of Schizophrenia

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Hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thinking and behaviors knowing these signs and what they look like can be a good step toward the right treatment plan.

Schizophrenia is a chronic mental health condition that affects a persons behaviors, thoughts, and feelings.

The condition is one of the top 15 leading causes of disability in the world. Its usually diagnosed between the ages of 16 and 30, after a person has experienced their first psychotic episode. Its rare for a young child to have schizophrenia.

But symptoms of schizophrenia develop slowly over time. You may begin to see signs in early teen years, such as:

  • experiencing a significant drop in grades or job performance
  • suddenly having trouble thinking clearly or concentrating
  • becoming suspicious of others or having paranoid thoughts
  • spending more and more time alone
  • having new passionate ideas that seem strange to others
  • having strange feelings or seeming like they experience no feelings at all
  • having less or no interest in how they look
  • finding it difficult to tell the difference between whats real and whats not real
  • being unable to speak clearly or struggling to communicate with others

Symptoms usually fall into one of three categories:

People with schizophrenia have a variety of symptoms that can range in severity. The 10 most common ones are:

Public Opinion / Perception Of Schizophrenia

Worldwide, people diagnosed with schizophrenia face stigma and discrimination. The stigma associated with schizophrenia can delay a diagnosis as many people may hesitate to discuss their symptoms even with a healthcare provider. Although this stigma has been challenged in the U.S., it still exists in much of the rest of the world. Families may attempt to keep the diagnosis of a loved ones schizophrenia secret. In developed nations like the U.S., however, a clearer understanding of the illness and its symptoms has reduced the stigma. Given the rate of homelessness among this population, however, more support must be allocated to this segment of the population.

When To Seek Help

Many people with schizophrenia can manage their symptoms with the help of their healthcare professionals. However, some people may still struggle to manage certain behaviors or symptoms. They also might stop taking their medication without telling anyone. This can create a stressful situation for them and their loved ones.

Its important to know when to call for emergency help. If a person with schizophrenia poses an immediate harm to themselves or to others, their loved one should call 911. If they are having suicidal thoughts, call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and get support from a trained counselor.

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Healthcare Costs Of Schizophrenia

In the United States, the cost for direct medical care is in excess of $22 billion per year. This cost does not reflect other supportive measures such as assisted living programs designed to help people with this condition manage their illness and obtain employment. Schizophrenia is also associated with an elevated disability rate. Many individuals are unable to support themselves or pay for medical care.

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Schizophrenia Symptoms: Delusions, Hallucinations And ...

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Five Different Types Of Schizophrenia


Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder, characterized by hallucinations, delusional thinking, a distorted perception of reality, poor cognitive skills, and disorganized speech or behavior. Affecting roughly 1% of the population in the United States, schizophrenia is characterized by hallucinations, delusional thinking, a distorted perception of reality, poor cognitive skills, and disorganized speech or behavior.

The causes of schizophrenia are similar to those of other psychiatric disorders genetics and family history, environmental factors, and changes in brain chemistry. Common misconceptions and stigmas about people with schizophrenia are that they tend to become violent and have split personalities.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness states that schizoaffective disorder affects about 0.3% of the population. Men and women experience schizoaffective disorder at a similar rate but men develop the illness at a younger age. The National Institutes of Health estimates approximately 1.1% of American adults will be diagnosed with schizophrenia at some point in their life. Schizophrenia can occur at all ages but tends to occur in the late teens to the early 20s for men, and the late 20s to early 30s for women. Experiencing schizophrenia at ages younger than 12 or older than 40 is very uncommon.

There are five different types of schizophrenia all of which are determined by the symptoms shown by the patient.

Paranoid Schizophrenia

Schizoaffective Disorder

Living With Schizophrenia Statistics

Only about 15 percent of people diagnosed with schizophrenia are able to work full time. This means that they are likely to struggle with paying rent or a mortgage. They are likely to struggle to pay for healthcare insurance. These are some of the reasons why so many individuals with schizophrenia are homeless. Yet, with ongoing treatment and a comprehensive array of support, people with schizophrenia can lead happy, productive lives. When their symptoms are in check, people with schizophrenia can function well in society.

The key to managing schizophrenia optimally is to obtain medical care at a facility that specializes in mental and behavioral health conditions. Like many mental health disorders, schizophrenia typically requires multiple types of support that include therapy, medication, and holistic support. Given this multi-tiered support, schizophrenia patients can expect to enjoy excellent disease management, allowing them to lead fulfilling lives.

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Deaths Related To Schizophrenia

Research indicates that people with schizophrenia are 3.5 times more likely to die than similarly aged individuals in the general population in a single year. In general, people who have schizophrenia are likely to die 25 years earlier than people in the general population. The large majority of deaths in schizophrenia patients is from natural causes other health conditions and infectious diseases. Even so, people with schizophrenia suffer elevated rates of suicide and fatal accidents. Some of these schizophrenia-related deaths are medically understandable for instance, a majority of Americans with schizophrenia smoke. Smoking, of course, is related to a heightened risk for lung and other cancers as well as cardiovascular disease.

Derailment Or Loose Associations

Common Schizophrenia Symptoms

In cases of severely disordered thinking, thoughts lose almost all connections with one another and become disconnected and disjointed. This illogical thinking is called derailment or “loose” associations.

  • For example: “I really enjoyed some communities and tried it, and the next day when Id be going out you know, um I took control like uh, I put, um, bleach on my hair in, in California. My roommate was from Chicago and she was going to the junior college. And we lived in the YMCA so she wanted to put it, um, peroxide on my hair”

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Supporting A Loved One

People with schizophrenia may need a lot of help from loved ones. Family members or friends may need to remind their loved one to take their medication, go to scheduled medical appointments, and take care of their health.

Tips for caregivers of someone with schizophrenia include:

  • Respond calmly: The hallucinations and delusions seem real to your loved one, so calmly explain that you see things differently. Be respectful without tolerating dangerous or inappropriate behavior.
  • Pay attention to triggers: You can help your family member or friend understandand try to avoidthe situations that trigger their symptoms or cause a relapse or a disruption to normal activities.
  • Help ensure medications are taken as prescribed: Many people question whether they still need the medication when theyre feeling better or if they dont like the side effects. Encourage your loved one to take their medication regularly to prevent symptoms from coming back or getting worse.
  • Understanding lack of awareness: Your family member or friend may be unable to see that they have schizophrenia. Show support by helping them be safe, get therapy, and take the prescribed medications.
  • Help avoid drugs or alcohol: These substances are known to worsen schizophrenia symptoms and trigger psychosis. If your loved one develops a substance use disorder, getting help is essential.

Don’t hesitate to contact organizations and facilities that can help, including the following:

  • NAMI Family Support Group

How Is Schizophrenia Diagnosed

If symptoms are present, your doctor will perform a complete medical history and physical examination. Although there are no laboratory tests to specifically diagnose schizophrenia, the doctor might use various diagnostic tests â such as MRI or CT scans or blood tests â to rule out physical illness as the cause of your symptoms.

If the doctor finds no physical reason for the symptoms, he or she might refer the person to a psychiatrist or psychologist, healthcare professionals who are specially trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses. Psychiatrists and psychologists use specially designed interview and assessment tools to evaluate a person for schizophrenia. The doctor or therapist bases his or her diagnosis on the personâs report of symptoms, and his or her observation of the personâs attitude and behavior.

The doctor or therapist then determines if the personâs symptoms point to a specific disorder as outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , which is published by the American Psychiatric Association and is the standard reference book for recognized mental illnesses. According to the DSM-5, a diagnosis of schizophrenia is made if a person has two or more core symptoms, one of which must be hallucinations, delusions, or disorganized speech for at least one month. The other core symptoms are gross disorganization and diminished emotional expression. Other DSM-5 criteria for a diagnosis of schizophrenia include:

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What Delusional Symptoms Occur In Schizophrenic Disorders


  • Delusions. These are false beliefs that are not based in reality.
  • Hallucinations. These usually involve seeing or hearing things that dont exist.
  • Disorganized thinking . Disorganized thinking is inferred from disorganized speech.
  • Extremely disorganized or abnormal motor behavior.
  • Negative symptoms.

When To See A Doctor

Positive and Negative Symptoms

As schizophrenia usually develops gradually, it can be difficult to pinpoint when changes in behavior start or know whether they are something to worry about. Identifying that you are experiencing a pattern of concerning behaviors can be a sign you should consult with a professional.

Symptoms may intensify in the run-up to an acute episode of psychosis in schizophrenia. The warning signs include:

  • A worrying drop in grades or job performance
  • New difficulty thinking clearly or concentrating
  • Suspiciousness of or uneasiness with others
  • Withdrawing socially, spending a lot more time alone than usual
  • Unusual, overly intense new ideas, strange feelings, or having no feelings at all
  • Difficulty telling reality from fantasy
  • Confused speech or trouble communicating

While these changes might not be concerning by themselves, if you or a loved one are experiencing a number of these symptoms, you should contact a mental health professional. It can be difficult for those with schizophrenia to want to get help, especially if they are experiencing symptoms such as paranoia.

If you or your loved one is thinking of or talking about harming themselves, contact someone who can help right away. You can call the toll-free, 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-237-8255.

If you require immediate emergency care, call 911 for emergency services or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

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Early Warning Signs Of Schizophrenia

In some people, schizophrenia appears suddenly and without warning. But for most, it comes on slowly, with subtle warning signs and a gradual decline in functioning, long before the first severe episode. Often, friends or family members will know early on that something is wrong, without knowing exactly what.

In this early phase of schizophrenia, you may seem eccentric, unmotivated, emotionless, and reclusive to others. You may start to isolate yourself, begin neglecting your appearance, say peculiar things, and show a general indifference to life. You may abandon hobbies and activities, and your performance at work or school can deteriorate.

How Common Is Disorganized Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia, a group of disorders that includes disorganized schizophrenia, affects about one percent of the world population. It is a top cause of disability in the world, and it’s even more common than some diseases that are more frequently publicized, such as multiple sclerosis.

Disorganized schizophrenia, as a type of schizophrenia, is not very prevalent. However, the disorder is one of the more serious forms of schizophrenia.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.

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What Are The Different Subtypes Of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a devastating mental disorder that can cause drastically different symptoms in those afflicted. Depending on the individual, symptoms can range from mild to extreme, from antisocial behavior to psychotic episodes. Since there is such a wide range of experiences with the same disorder, there are five different subtypes of schizophrenia. Below you can find the five most common subtypes of schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia is a devastating mental disorder that can cause drastically different symptoms in those afflicted. Depending on the individual, symptoms can range from mild to extreme, from antisocial behavior to psychotic episodes. Since there is such a wide range of experiences with the same disorder, there are five different subtypes of schizophrenia. Below you can find the five most common subtypes of schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia Statistics In The United States

Cicos Catatonic Schizophrenia Project 2014
  • The prevalence of schizophrenia among U.S adults is estimated to be 1.5 million people per year.
  • Schizophrenia is often diagnosed in young people during their late teens to early 30s with symptoms commonly presenting earlier in males than in females.
  • The average life lost for individuals with schizophrenia in the U.S. is 28.5 years.

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Here Are Some Things You Can Do To Help Your Loved One:

  • Help them get treatment and encourage them to stay in treatment
  • Remember that their beliefs or hallucinations seem very real to them
  • Tell them that you acknowledge that everyone has the right to see things their way
  • Be respectful, supportive, and kind without tolerating dangerous or inappropriate behavior
  • Check to see if there are any support groups in your area

Some symptoms require immediate emergency care. If your loved one is thinking about harming themselves or others or attempting suicide, seek help right away:

Disorganized Hebephrenia Or Schizophrenia

Hebephrenia, also known as disorganized schizophrenia, is one of the types of schizophrenia described in the DSM-IV and ICD-10 manuals. This is 1 extreme manifestation of the so-called syndrome of disorganization, Present to a greater or lesser degree in many cases of schizophrenia.

The German psychiatrist Ewald Hecker made in 1871 the first detailed description of the syndrome which would first be called hebephrenia and later disorganized schizophrenia. Emil Kraepelin included hebephrenia among the subtypes of dementia precocious, the concept he used to refer to schizophrenia.

According to the DSM-IV, hebephrenia is characterized by the predominance of negative symptoms over positive symptoms. While the positive symptoms of schizophrenia are mainly hallucinations and delusions, among the negative symptoms are cognitive, behavioral and emotional deficits of different types.

In the case of ICD-10, basic characteristics of the disorganized schizophrenia subtype include early onset of symptoms, behavioral unpredictability, presence of inappropriate emotional expressions, disinterest in social relationships and motivation deficits.

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Symptoms Of Disorganized Schizophrenia:

Disorganized SpeechSchizophrenia can cause people to have difficulty concentrating and maintaining a train of thought, which manifests in the way they speak. People with disorganized speech might speak incoherently, respond to questions with unrelated answers, say illogical things, or shift topics frequently. Signs of disorganized speech involve the following:

  • Loose associations: Rapidly shifting between topics with no connections between topics
  • Perseveration: Repeating the same things over and over again
  • Made up words that only have meaning to the speaker
  • Use of rhyming words without meaning
  • When cognitive disorganization is severe, it can be nearly impossible to understand what the person is saying.

Disorganized BehaviorSchizophrenia negatively impacts goal-directed behavior. A person with disorganized schizophrenia is likely to have difficulty beginning a specific task or difficulty finishing a task. Independent functioning is exceptionally difficult due to this gross disorganization.

Disorganized behavior can manifest as the following:

  • A decline in overall daily functioning
  • Unpredictable or inappropriate emotional responses
  • Lack of impulse control
  • Behaviors that appear bizarre or lack purpose
  • Routine behaviors such as bathing, dressing, or brushing teeth can be severely impaired or lost.

Change In Schizophrenia Subtypes

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The “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,” or DSM, was created to help healthcare professionals properly diagnose people with mental health disorders like schizophrenia. This manual is updated periodically to take into consideration new research and clinical recommendations from leading mental health professionals.

In the DSM-4, schizophrenia was divided into several subtypes, including paranoid and disorganized. However, the DSM-5, the current version, has removed these subtypes entirely and shifted instead to using dimensions to capture variability in symptoms of schizophrenia.

Therefore, disorganization is now considered a symptom of the disorder, rather than a subtype. Nevertheless, it remains important to understand disorganized symptoms, specifically if you are a person living with schizophrenia or a loved one caring for someone with this condition.

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