What are the Subtypes of Schizophrenia?

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  • Written By: Jacob Queen
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 04 November 2019
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There are several subtypes of schizophrenia that show varied symptoms and overall effects. These basic subtypes include the paranoid type, disorganized type, and catatonic type. In addition to these three main subtypes, there are two others, including the undifferentiated type, which has a mixture of symptoms from the other three types, and the residual type, which applies to patients whose symptoms have improved greatly from one of the other types so that they only have residual symptoms remaining.

The most well-known symptom of the paranoid type is a feeling of persecution. Patients suffering with this type may have hallucinations or delusions that make them fear they are being targeted by a person or group. These patients generally function more easily in society than people with other subtypes of schizophrenia, partly because people are often able to hide their symptoms for a long time. The symptoms of this type usually don’t develop as early as symptoms for other subtypes of schizophrenia, although this can vary.


In cases of the disorganized subtype, people often have a difficult time functioning in society. They may suffer from an inability to think clearly about things, and they are often confused. Many people with this type have problems with speaking clearly, and they may behave in a way that is socially unacceptable. People with this subtype don’t usually have as many hallucinations as people with other subtypes of schizophrenia, but they are often emotionally unstable, and they may not respond in a normal fashion to daily situations.

Patients suffering with the catatonic subtype will generally have a tendency to become immobile. They may seem to be entranced and refuse to move at all. If people try to force them to move, they may try to resist without showing any particular reaction. It’s also fairly common for people suffering with the catatonic subtype to mimic others in a behavior called “parroting.” They may mimic movements or repeat phrases.

The undifferentiated type is basically used to classify patients that won’t fit comfortably into one of the other main types. These people may show symptoms from all the types to some extent or another. Some people with the undifferentiated type have relatively mild symptoms, or their symptoms might not be fully developed.

When patients have symptoms that have begun to decline, it is called residual schizophrenia. This is generally the mildest of the subtypes of schizophrenia. People with this level of the disorder are not necessarily cured, but they are generally more able to function in society and cope with whatever lingering symptoms remain.


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