Which forms of schizophrenia are there?

There are several forms of schizophrenia. The most common form is "paranoid schizophrenia" with hallucinations and delusions in the foreground.

Before we enumerate these and other forms, but one thing is emphasized: Doctors love graduations. It makes things easier when you can classify illnesses in certain drawers. In reality, this is a crutch, a very artificial assignment. For schizophrenia is so variable in its appearance that hardly any affected person can actually be assigned to exactly one drawer. Mostly it is a closer look at a hybrid that would actually belong in two or three different drawers. But as I said: Doctors love (and probably need) such divisions.

Paranoid schizophrenia: the most common form

Paranoid schizophrenia has already been mentioned above. It is the "classic form" of schizophrenia, in which symptoms such as hearing voices, paranoia etc. are in the foreground. The so-called negative symptoms (loss of certain expressive forms due to the illness, reduced emotional reactions, language changes, social withdrawal, etc.) are scarcely present in paranoid schizophrenia.

Hebephrenic schizophrenia: beginning in adolescence

The so-called "hebephrenic schizophrenia" begins already in adolescence. The young sufferers are usually noticed by behavioral changes. They suddenly seem impotent, emotionally flattened and duller. Typical is a sudden decline in school performance, a social withdrawal with break-up of friendships and an increasing isolation, even with family members.

Unfortunately, the prognosis for the hyperepic schizophrenia is rather unfavorable, which means that the likelihood of chronic, chronic schizophrenia is comparatively high.

Other important schizophrenia forms at a glance

In the rarer "Schizophrenia simplex" are negative symptoms in the foreground, so behavioral changes that rather indicate a withdrawal from the world: lower emotional reactions, listlessness and the like. Typical positive symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions are missing. The disease begins in adulthood and is rather slow and insidious. Those affected are often described as strange and cranky.

The "catatonic schizophrenia" is a special form in which a physical "rigidity" is in the foreground. It comes to so-called psychomotor disorders with a rigid peculiar posture, which is not changed for hours. Hallucinations are also possible.

"Residual schizophrenia" is when schizophrenia has existed for a long time and personality has changed. Characteristic are a reduced drive, emotional flattening and social isolation.

Authors: Dr. med. Julia Hofmann & Dr. med. med. Jörg Zorn