Disorganized Schizophrenia Symptoms: One Disease, Many Faces

disorganized schizophrenia symptoms 02 imgAlmost everyone has some ideas about schizophrenia, but few know how diverse the people that experience schizophrenia are, or about the number of ways that the mental disease can present itself. As members of society, we get much of our knowledge from media like television and movies, which tend to portray a stereotypical image of mental illnesses like schizophrenia, and schizophrenia treatment. By learning that there are many other ways that this and other conditions of the mind present themselves, we are able to better know the people that we share the world with.

Definition of Schizophrenia and Schizophrenia Subtypes

Schizophrenia is defined as a chronic condition that has a profound impact on an individual’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviour. People with schizophrenia also usually have delusions (believe things that do not reflect reality) and hallucinations, symptoms referred to as “psychosis”. However, the kinds of beliefs that seems strange to others that people with schizophrenia experience vary greatly, and depend upon the specific kind of schizophrenia they have, of which there are five: catatonic, paranoid, residual, undifferentiated, and disorganized. There are many more media plots about catatonic schizophrenia symptoms and paranoid schizophrenia treatment than there are about the latter three types of schizophrenia.

Could I Know Someone With Disorganized Schizophrenia?

The word “disorganized” in this subtype of schizophrenia says it all. The aspects of life that schizophrenia affects – behaviour, thoughts, and emotions – all lack organization when someone has this condition, and you will notice the following three qualities above all else in someone with disorganized schizophrenia symptoms:

Disorganized Behaviour
The life of someone with disorganized schizophrenia is perhaps most affected by their inability to complete the everyday tasks that others take for granted because they cannot follow routines or patterns of logic necessary to take care of one’s appearance or cook a meal. A person with disorganized schizophrenia will demonstrate the inability to do things like bathe, dress and brush their teeth, keep their living area clean, cook meals, make phone calls, or pay bills. Others may think that they are lazy, when in truth, they are unable to keep track of such responsibilities, and too much is going on in their minds for them to concentrate long enough to complete any of these domestic duties.

Disorganized Thoughts
Disorganized thinking results in patterns of thought that are illogical, nonsensical, and incommunicable. It is almost impossible for someone whose mind works this way to hold a conversation with another person that makes sense to the other because of the speed that ideas are coming into and leaving their heads. You may be talking about your recent break-up with a partner and the affected person interrupts, mentioning their need to get a haircut. This is often interpreted as rudeness, which leaves people with disorganized schizophrenia isolated. This is tragic, as they are simply expressing thoughts that they cannot control, and the best way for them to learn how to be better at having conversations is through practice. Written communication is also difficult, and the person may make up words.

This video demonstrates the speech of someone with disorganized schizophrenia symptoms:

Disorganized Emotions
Finally, individuals with disorganized schizophrenia symptoms demonstrate flat affect (failure to express emotion) or express emotions that are inappropriate for the situation at hand. Classic examples are laughing or acting silly during a serious event. A person with disorganized schizophrenia will also find it difficult to make eye contact, and will often exhibit strange body language. Instead of being embarrassed by these emotional expressions and ignoring them, it is a good idea to politely explain to the person why their laughter at a funeral is not appropriate. People learn best if taught in real time, and some of the best therapy happens outside the doctor’s office.


The treatment of disorganized schizophrenia symptoms does not differ greatly from treatment of other types of schizophrenia. Though the subjects and targets of clinical therapy are specific to the type of schizophrenia a patient has, therapy and medication are the hallmarks of treatment for any type. Antipsychotic medications are used to treat all types, as they not only decrease the hallucinations and delusions that we most associate with schizophrenia, but they slow an individual’s thoughts down, and decrease agitation.

It is important to note that antipsychotics have many unfavourable side-effects, like significant weight gain and tics that can become permanent. If an individual demonstrates some disorganization but relatively mild schizophrenia symptoms, therapy is favorable and should be tried before resorting to medication.



Originally posted 2012-11-19 11:31:07. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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