To make the diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia easier and more effective, psychiatrists have attempted to classify schizophrenia into several types. These classifications are based on years
of experience and research with symptoms and feelings described by patients and observations made by family members, nurses, doctors and psychiatrists. Since single symptoms of schizophrenia may be caused by other diseases or illnesses, it is most important to seek help early from physicians and
Before identifying the specific type of schizophrenia, the
doctor or psychiatrist should look at the family history and personal history of
the person affected, do a thorough physical examination and order laboratory and
x-ray examinations. Once all of the information is analyzed, and if the
person has schizophrenia, a diagnosis may be made using one of the following
categories of schizophrenia.
This type of schizophrenia, commonly referred to as the “hebephrenic” type, has the
following diagnostic criteria:
- Early symptoms include poor concentration, moodiness, confusion and strange ideas.
- The person’s speech is frequently incoherent, difficult to understand, rambling.
- Delusions or false beliefs are not well established.
- The person shows no emotions or they are inappropriate, i.e. silly, giddy laughter.
Characterized by delusions and/or hallucinations with persecution, or less commonly an
exaggerated sense of self importance. Other features exhibited for no
apparent reason may be: anxiety, anger, argumentativeness, jealousy and
Diagnostic criteria for the catatonic type of schizophrenia include:
- Catatonic stupor (marked decrease in reaction to one’s environment) or mutism.
- Motionless resistance to all instructions or attempts to be physically moved.
- Maintenance of a rigid or bizarre posture.
- Excited physical activity which seems purposeless, not influenced by the person’s
Sometimes the major psychotic symptoms cannot be classified into any category listed, or may match
the criteria for more than one type of schizophrenia.
This category is used when there is at least one recognizable episode of
schizophrenia but no ongoing obvious psychotic symptoms, though less clear signs
of the illness continue such as social withdrawal, eccentric behavior,
inappropriate emotions and thinking, etc.