The Different Schizophrenia Types, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

schizophrenia types

When you or a loved one is diagnosed with schizophrenia, you may find that you have a lot of questions. There are several different schizophrenia types and each of them has different symptoms and behaviors. The types of treatment for each may vary, and you may be wondering what it all means.

Your doctor is the best person to ask when it comes to medical or mental health questions, but sometimes their answers may not be clear or thorough. You might also think of additional questions after you have left his or her office. If it is your loved one that has schizophrenia, he or she may not understand well enough to explain the condition to others.

If you are wondering about the different types of schizophrenia, read on. You will also learn about the outlook for this condition and the types of treatments that are available for it. There is a great deal to learn about this often mysterious disorder and some of your questions are likely answered here.

What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that affects how an individual acts, thinks and behaves. It is not very common but today it is estimated that 3.2 million Americans suffer from it. Worldwide, one percent of the world’s population has schizophrenia, but in the United States, that percentage is slightly higher at 1.2%.

People who experience schizophrenia know that it can range from mild to quite severe. It is chronic and once diagnosed, an individual will likely experience symptoms throughout his or her lifetime. In most cases, it makes its first appearance during young adulthood. However, on some occasions, it can become evident in childhood or later adulthood as well.

Many scientists, doctors, and researchers have found that schizophrenia does seem to be inherited. However, there are also individuals who experience it who have no family history of the disorder. Many scientists believe schizophrenia develops due to a gene, but there has been no success yet in identifying that gene. It’s also possible that it arises due to a complicated relationship between life experiences and the mystery gene.  Some believe that brain chemistry plays a part. Much more research must be done before schizophrenia can be accurately predicted.

Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia emerges gradually. At first, an individual may present with odd behaviors. He or she may also feel anxiety, restlessness, and may experience minor hallucinations. These can last for quite some time, and may not be evident to others.

In time, these will increase until the afflicted experiences a psychotic break. He or she will suffer internally during this time, and friends or family members will begin to notice that something is very wrong, leading to treatment or even hospitalization.

If the case is mild and is treated, this break may be the only time the individual experiences something like this. However, treatment will be necessary for the rest of that person’s life to keep other symptoms at bay.

There are three types of schizophrenia symptoms.

Positive Symptoms

Although the term positive symptoms may sound like benefits, this term instead refers to behaviors that are not seen in healthy people. These can include hallucinations, delusions, thought disorders, or movement disorders.

Negative Symptoms

Negative symptoms describe symptoms that affect emotions. People suffering from schizophrenia may experience difficulty speaking or difficulty beginning and sustaining activities.  They may also have feelings of loss or lack of pleasure and may have limited expressive abilities.

Cognitive Symptoms

Symptoms related to brain function are intense in some individuals, but may not be present at all in others. People who suffer from cognitive symptoms due to schizophrenia may have difficulty paying attention. They may also lack a “working memory or may have issues with executive functioning.

Schizophrenia Types

The term schizophrenia describes a number of similar conditions, but there are small differences between many of them. As a result, there are many different schizophrenia types. All of them are subject to the symptoms described above, but the way they develop and are treated may differ.

Paranoid Schizophrenia

This is the most well-known type of this condition, but it is certainly not the only one. People who experience paranoid schizophrenia experience paranoid delusions and hallucinations on a regular basis. Even with proper medication and treatment, they may have trouble holding a job, having friends, or living what most view as a normal life.

Schizoaffective Disorder

Schizoaffective disorder is dangerous because people who experience it not only suffer from schizophrenia. They also suffer from major depression or bipolar disorder at the same time. Because of the challenges of each of these conditions, all of the symptoms of each are compounded.

Schizophreniform Disorder

This type of schizophrenia is very uncommon. It lasts only six months or less. Often, doctors diagnose schizophreniform disorder while waiting to see what will happen next. If the symptoms continue beyond six months, schizophrenia will be diagnosed.

Schizophrenia Treatment

Fortunately, schizophrenia is treatable. No matter what type of schizophrenia a person has, there are treatments that can work to lessen or eliminate the symptoms.

People with schizophrenia take antipsychotic medications. These are available in pill, liquid, or injectable form. It often takes a doctor and patient time to determine the right medications and dosage. Once determined, most individuals can go on to live a normal and productive life.

Unfortunately, many schizophrenia medications come with negative side effects. This may discourage some of the afflicted from taking them on a regular basis. It is crucial that schizophrenia patients stay on their medications at all times for best results.

Most individuals also benefit from psychological care to help them function well in society. This additional care can be a great help to people with schizophrenia that wish to attend school, pursue goals, or hold a job.

Schizophrenia is Not a Death Sentence

Although no one wants schizophrenia, it is manageable. Schizophrenia types may be different, but for all of them, these two treatments described above can help. They work together to help people with schizophrenia live regular lives in spite of their mental health issues.

If you or someone you love is diagnosed with schizophrenia, it is crucial that the proper medications are on hand and administered. In order to keep a supply on hand at all times, consider ordering the medications by mail. Check out our site to find affordable medications shipped from Canada. These can help you or your loved one keep a proper supply of medication in the home for best results.