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World Schizophrenia Day 2018: Types of schizophrenia you should know about

We spoke to Dr Pavan Sonar, psychiatrist and psychotherapist, Mumbai to know more about how the condition progresses.

Written by Debjani Arora |Published : May 24, 2018 7:15 PM IST

Schizophrenia is a mental health condition which affects the way one thinks, feels and acts. The real cause of this condition is unclear, but experts believe that genetics, changes in biochemicals, environmental factors and physiological changes in the brain due to an illness or injury could be a probable cause. This condition has certain symptoms that are unique to it. People suffering from this condition might experience hallucination, delusions, postural problems, speech and writing problems, loss of appetite, change in personality, a decline in cognitive functions, inability to concentrate, loss of appetite, lack of social interest, anger outbursts, indifference etc. A person affected might not have all these symptoms at once but might suffer from two or three of them at one time. No two people suffering from schizophrenia will have the same symptoms and would need a different approach to treat it.

Schizophrenia is considered as a spectrum disorder where a group of related mental disorder share the same symptoms where psychosis is a common trait. In psychosis what seems real to the person is not reality. People suffering from the condition usually hallucinate, have delusions and hear voices that are not real. Some of them might have speech and postural problems. The manifestations of the symptoms are not same in two people suffering from the same condition. This is why schizophrenia is considered a spectrum disorder. We spoke to Dr Pavan Sonar, psychiatrist and psychotherapist, Mumbai to know more about how the condition progresses. Dr Sonar explains to us how this spectrum disorder is classified to understand it better.

Disorganised: In disorganised schizophrenia, a person other than exhibiting few of the classical symptoms would also lead a disorganised and dishevelled life. Often they stop taking care of themselves, lack proper hygiene and sanitation, have social disinterest, lack motivation and have a general withdrawal towards life.

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Catatonic: In catatonic schizophrenia, a person's body is affected and goes into a freeze zone. It is a combination of the neurological and psychological condition in which two kinds of behaviours are typically displayed: stupor and motor rigidity or excitement. When people experience rigidity or stupor, they are unable to speak, respond or even move.

Paranoid: In paranoid schizophrenia paranoid schizophrenia the person can either suffer from auditory hallucinations (hearing voices) or paranoid delusions (believing everyone is out to cause the sufferer harm). The two symptoms do not co-exist. This is the form of schizophrenia where the sufferer might either harm self or inflict harm on others.

Simplex: While the name suggests otherwise this is the most difficult one to diagnose. Unlike the other forms of schizophrenia, there are no classical signs or symptoms in this condition. The only subtle signs are severe anger outbursts and violent outbursts. In this form of schizophrenia, there is an absence of a will, impoverished thinking and flattening of effect. There is a gradual deterioration of cognitive functioning with increased demotivation and reduced socialization. It is considered to be rarely diagnosed as there are no imminent psychotic symptoms.

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