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What is Schizophrenia? Definition, Types and Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Updated on March 17, 2012

In this article, we will read about:

1. What is Schizophrenia?

2. Difference between Hallucination vs. Delusion.

3. Different types of Schizophrenia.

4. Symptoms of Schizophrenia.

1. What is Schizophrenia? The definition from says:

Schizophrenia is:

“Any of a group of psychotic disorders usually characterized by withdrawal from reality, illogical patterns of thinking, delusions, and hallucinations, and accompanied in varying degrees by other emotional, behavioral, or intellectual disturbances.”

Generally speaking, Schizophrenia is a mental disorder in which a person loses, along with many other things, the ability to characterize and categorize fantasy and reality. He suffers from hallucinations, delusions and often acts weirdly among people. Schizophrenia affects a person’s ability to logically think, arrive at decisions and can tell a difference between what is unreal and what is real.

2. Difference between Hallucination vs. Delusion:

There is a slight difference between ‘Hallucination’ and ‘Delusion’, in which, people often get confused.

Hallucination: Hallucination is a mental disorder in which a person sees or hears something/someone who is not actually there. He may hear voices – familiar or unfamiliar; He may see persons/objects/animals, which are not there. Hallucination is generally a visual experience.

Delusion: Delusion is more related to thoughts and beliefs and perceptions that are incorrect. You may belief something which is not true. In delusion, you may believe that you will jump out of an airplane and will fly the same way and not to die.

Difference: Hence the major difference between Hallucination and Delusion is that Hallucination is more of a visual experience which is incorrect, while, Delusion is more of a thought and/or perception that is incorrect.

3. Types of Schizophrenia:

Following are the different types of Schizophrenia:

1. Paranoid Schizophrenia

2. Catatonic Schizophrenia

3. Disorganized Schizophrenia

4. Undifferentiated Schizophrenia

5. Residual Schizophrenia

Following is the details of each type of Schizophrenia.

3.1. Paranoid Schizophrenia:

Paranoid Schizophrenia is the most common type of Schizophrenia disorder. In this type, the patient suffering from Paranoid Schizophrenia falsely believes that someone is plotting against him. Unlike most of the beliefs, patients of paranoid schizophrenia are not violent; instead they prefer to spend their time alone; thinking of ways by which they can protect themselves.

Patients of paranoid Schizophrenia often experiences hallucination and delusion. Auditory hallucination is greater as compared to visual hallucination. They usually hear voices in form of threats or commands.

Patients of paranoid Schizophrenia are likely to think and concentrate more as compared to other types of paranoid Schizophrenia.

3.2. Catatonic Schizophrenia:

Catatonic Schizophrenia is one of the rarest types of Schizophrenia. It is a type in which the patient suffering from Catatonic Schizophrenia experiences the extremes of behavior. Patients of Catatonic Schizophrenia can sometimes become extreme quiet; remain stagnant in their positions for hours and days. On the other hand, they can be over-active, jumping forth and through and running all around the place. They may also resist the attempts to change their positions.

3.3. Undifferentiated Schizophrenia:

Undifferentiated Schizophrenia, as its name suggests, is a type of Schizophrenia which may or may not be categorized in any other type; because people who suffer from undifferentiated Schizophrenia have symptoms that are not clear enough to place them in a specific category, in other types of Schizophrenia. The identifying symptoms of a patient, in undifferentiated schizophrenia, may fluctuate or remain highly stable, creating problems in place in any other category.

3.4. Disorganized Schizophrenia:

The main feature of Disorganized Schizophrenia, as its names suggests, is the disorganization in thoughts of the patient. The patient may also suffer hallucination and delusion but they are less dominant as compared to the disorganized patterns of thoughts. Normal activity can be seriously impaired and disturbed because of Disorganized Schizophrenia. A patient may not be able to do his routine work because of the disorder.

Disorganized Schizophrenia is also known as Hebephrenic Schizophrenia. Its patients, along with the ability to organize and connecting thoughts, may also suffer a disorder, generally known as, ‘thoughts-block’, in which a person; while speaking or thinking; can abruptly and suddenly forgets what he was talking or thinking about.

3.5. Residual Schizophrenia:

Residual Schizophrenia is a type of Schizophrenia in which the patient no longer displays the symptoms as significantly as they were used to. It means, they category is for those patients, the severity of whose disorders have been lessen. Although, hallucinations, delusions or strange behaviors may still be experienced, but obviously, to a lesser extent.

4. Symptoms of Schizophrenia:

There are many symptoms of Schizophrenia; different for each type. Although, some of the most common symptoms of Schizophrenia are as under:

  • A person suffering from Schizophrenia may find difficulty in sleep and difficulty in concentration.
  • May suffer delusions (has been described in detail earlier)
  • May suffer hallucinations (has been described in detail earlier)
  • Loose connection between thoughts.
  • Strange and bizarre behaviours.
  • A belief, though a false one, that his loved one aim to harm him.
  • Lack of emotions and activities
  • Extreme depressions and social isolation.


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    • tebo profile image

      tebo 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for all this information. I have a niece who appears to suffer from this condition and I have been looking for explanations, so your hub has been very helpful.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 6 years ago from Nepal

      Nicely written, information laden and very useful health article. I have seen people battling with this disease, and your article will be very helpful to them. I'm going to suggest.

    • Hunbbel Meer profile image

      Syed Hunbbel Meer 6 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan.

      @Sueswan: Thank you for your comment, I always appreciate your comments.

      Schizophrenia is usually believed to be more of a genetic disorder.

    • Hunbbel Meer profile image

      Syed Hunbbel Meer 6 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan.

      @Always exploring: Schizophrenia is a disorder which is usually happens in teenage or in young adulthood of one's life. I hope your brother has improved; I can only hope for the better if it hasn't yet. I will pray.

    • Hunbbel Meer profile image

      Syed Hunbbel Meer 6 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan.

      @Hafeezrm: I will expand the topic sir, but it will take sometime, as I am pretty busy with my schedule. I would highly suggest you, that if you are having suspicions about the disorder, then it is only advisable to visit a doctor ASAP.

    • Hunbbel Meer profile image

      Syed Hunbbel Meer 6 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan.

      @Deborah-Diane: Thank you for your kind words.

    • profile image

      Sueswan 6 years ago

      Very interesting and informative.

      I didn't know that there was so many different types of Schizophrenia.

      I have read that Schizophrenics have excessive levels of dopamine in the brain.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      This is very interesting. I had a brother, Fred, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of eighteen. I still don't understand what causes it. Thank you.

    • hafeezrm profile image

      hafeezrm 6 years ago from Pakistan

      After reading your hub, I shedder with the realization that some of the symptoms are in me. Please expand your knowledge further to include "how to get rid of it."

      Meanwhile, thanks for creating awareness of this problem.

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 6 years ago from Orange County, California

      Thank you for this inciteful explanation of this dreadful mental illness.