Schizophrenia refers to the category of chronic progressive mental disorders that has endogenous nature. To put it more simply, one can define schizophrenia as a disruption of the thinking process and violations of emotional reactions that consequently lead to dissociative dementia. The primary cause in the disease occurrence plays genetic predisposition. On the other hand, there are also some secondary causes, such as head injuries, different kinds of traumas, and other past illnesses. Actually, most often, the secondary causes act only as catalysts of this pathological process. Schizophrenia entails different types that vary according to their symptoms.
According to the statistics, schizophrenia affects 1-2% of people. The first symptoms become evident in adolescent years. Interestingly, but the disorder has both productive and negative symptoms. The former relate to those that do not have a vivid negative influence on the human body and brain. As a rule, they are secondary and are the following: hallucinations, illusions, delusions, and catatonia. The negative symptoms, on the contrary, have a deteriorating effect. For example, a person may suffer from the lack of emotions, apathy or the inability to express feelings or thinking in words. As a rule, due to such negative symptoms, a person may lose many positive qualities.
The International Classification of Diseases (ICS-10) has proposed the following system of classification of schizophrenia forms. The first category relates to a paranoid type of the illness, where a person suffers from different kinds of hallucinations (e.g. visual, audio, tactile, and olfactory) as well as from delusions of relationship, persecution, greatness, illness whatsoever. The second category develops only in adolescence and is called hebephrenic. This type of schizophrenia is characterized by unpredictability, behavioral disorders, mannerisms, grimacing, and fragmentation of speech and thinking process. The third type under the classification is catatonic schizophrenia, which is characterized by mutism, negativism, catatonic excitement or stupor, freezing in the same position, copying other people’s behavior, mimics, gestures, movements, etc. The fourth type is commonly referred to as undifferentiated schizophrenia, which has all of the illness characteristics without any of them being predominant. Apart from the generally accepted classification, scientists also claim that another type of the mental illness is post-schizophrenic depression. Actually, it appears as a result of many of schizophrenia symptoms. Moreover, schizophrenia can appear in a simple form, wherein patients demonstrate indifference toward themselves and people around, and are also introverted. In addition, such people are susceptible to paralogous and ambivalent thinking, inappropriate behavior, and vagrancy. Finally, there is residual schizophrenia, which is regarded as a chronic course of the disease. Mainly, it is characterized by emotional flattening.
There are specific symptoms in all kinds of mental disorders, and schizophrenia in particular. According to their features, scientists have developed classification, which helps to understand which category a patient belongs to and what to expect next from his/ her behavior. Therefore, it is most likely that the future research will bring new insights into finding effective preventive measures to ease the disease and fight with its relapses.
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