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Schizophrenia: Characteristics, Types and Symptoms Research Paper

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Updated: Aug 27th, 2021


Since this research is all about the types and symptoms of schizophrenia, the foremost is the fact that diagnosing this disease is even more complicated than detecting any other disease or illness because there are many psychiatric illnesses that share some of the same symptoms. For example, hallucination, the foremost symptom of schizophrenia also occurs in depression. (Miller & Mason, 2002, p. 50) However, for diagnosing, doctors first gather information from the patient and the people around the patient, before diagnosing.

Main body

This disease is a type of brain disease which if remain unnoticed affects the entire personality and life of the patient. Followed by various types, schizophrenia awakens an abnormal rate of consciousness among the patients due to which the patient is often continued with hallucinations, delusions, and sometimes depression.


  1. Paranoid type: This one is followed by a continuous flow of hallucinations or delusions.
  2. Disorganized type: Followed by disorganized speech, behavior, and a sense of lack of feelings and emotions.
  3. Catatonic type: Severe tardiness, immobility; purposeless, excessive motor activity; inappropriate physical postures; and repeating words or behaviors
  4. Undifferentiated type: This one is a general category of schizophrenia that has its own type and does not follow other types.
  5. Residual type: Residual type is a permanent type that resides with alone positive or negative symptoms or a combination of essentially negative symptoms and mild positive symptoms.

Other types which Weiner (1997) has discussed are:

  1. Acute and chronic schizophrenia;
  2. Paranoid and nonparanoid schizophrenia;
  3. Incipient and remitting schizophrenia;
  4. Borderline and Pseudo neurotic schizophrenia.

The recovering from schizophrenia is commonly referred to as acute or reactive schizophrenia and the non-recovering form as chronic or process schizophrenia. Consistent with the association of acute schizophrenia with recovery from disturbance and chronic schizophrenia with the persistence of disturbance, the differential classification of these two conditions has traditionally been structured. (Weiner, 1997, p. 359) Paranoid and nonparanoid are distinguished by continuity and noncontinuity of symptoms.

The incipient phase of schizophrenia is the initial stage characterized by increasing personality disintegration and movement toward an impending psychosis. It is a stage of an initial disturbance at which diagnosis is often difficult, but at which early detection can foster preventive measures that prevent further decompensation of the disease. Remitting schizophrenia is a phase of recovery from schizophrenia that is marked by restitutive efforts and progressive personality reintegration. It is the stage of a disturbance at which such important therapeutic measures as a decrease in supervision, discharge from hospital, and return to work can be most effectively implemented. (Weiner, 1997, p. 359)

While discussing all the abstract types of schizophrenia, Weiner warns the patient that being the obverse of blocking, ‘thought pressure’ is an excess of associative activity in which ideas are formulated faster than they can be meaningfully integrated and expressed more rapidly than they can be logically organized. The pressure takes the patient to the extent where he feels relentless and restless followed by a stream of emotions or sentiments.

Basic symptoms, according to Csernansky, are those that directly reflect the illness process and therefore must be present for a diagnosis of the disorder. What I understood of his belief is that all those psychological disturbances that are clearly present in the patient are evident symptoms. However basic schizophrenic symptoms include hallucinations, disturbances of association, and melancholia. Accessory or secondary, symptoms are those that may or may not be observed in any given patient for example thought disorder and cognitive deficits.

While assessing other symptoms, Csernansky has mentioned in his book many theorists like Eugen Bleuler and Kurt Schneider. In this respect, he believes that all ‘first-rank symptoms like maximized diagnostic specificity, including audible thoughts; voices arguing, discussing, or commenting; influenced thought (i.e., thought withdrawal, thought broadcasting); and delusional perception are also part of the schizophrenic disorder.

The most usual symptoms are delusions, hallucinations, confused thinking, however, Miller and Mason have divided symptoms of schizophrenia into three simple categories: Positive, negative, and cognitive symptoms.

Positive symptoms are rare and involve unique characteristics like overconfidence, self-love, and presence of sensations, beliefs and behaviours that are not normal. These are the symptoms that are very noticeable and of which people are most aware. Negative symptoms are the lack of important abilities which include inability to enjoy activities, low energy, flat facial or body expressions, low motivation factor and the foremost negative symptom; no social gathering, inability to make friends or keep friends, or not caring to have friends.

Cognitive symptoms are those which are somehow associated with concentration and memory. These symptoms engage the patient into slow thinking and understanding capabilities and lack of proper concentration.


Symptoms such as frustration, depression, anxiety, or confusion are those which can be compared to madness. This compare and contrast is done in context with different theorists and models perception. The book has researched and analyzed the disease according to various cultures, places and people. The authors have find out the symptoms and have studied consistently to find that while members of the public understand those factors that influence our mental health, they place much more emphasis on adverse life events than on biology or genetics.

As the authors have proved that schizophrenia is nothing but insanity, therefore they believe it has to deal with biological psychiatry. With the help of biological psychiatry aided by the pharmaceutical industry, we could insist on trying to ‘educate’ the public that they are wrong about the disease.

Annotated Bibliography

Miller Rachel & Mason E. Susan, (2002) Diagnosis: Schizophrenia A Comprehensive Resource for Patients, Families, and Helping Professionals: Columbia University Press: New York.

The way Miller and Mason has elucidated the debate on schizophrenia has helped the students to easily grasp the basics and understand the link between characteristics, types and symptoms.

Csernansky G. John, (2002) Schizophrenia: A New Guide for Clinicians: Marcel Dekker: New York.

Csernansky has developed an argument through focusing on clinical diagnosis of this disease. He has presented and assessed schizophrenia in the light of real live cases. His interviews throughout his book elaborate his diagnosis through qualitative assessment. While considering the disease as a psychiatric disorder his work has focused on delineating the basic and accessory symptoms of ‘schizophrenic’ psychiatric disorders.

Weiner B. Irving, (1997) Psychodiagnosis in Schizophrenia: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates: Mahwah, NJ.

Weiner has mostly discussed different approaches towards the disease with reference to various scientists, talking from its origin to its end Weiner has elaborated upon psycho diagnosis and what happens when the disease is analysed from theoretical and practical point of view. He emphasizes upon various ways in which schizophrenia attacks.

Read John, Mosher R. Loren & Bentall P. Richard, (2004) Models of Madness: Psychological, Social and Biological Approaches to Schizophrenia: Brunner-Routledge: New York.

Read et al, has proposed a unique notion in his work. While believing that schizophrenia is not an illness, he has suggested that Schizophrenia is the lynchpin of models of mental illness. Regardless of what we as individuals make of this term, it would be difficult to dispute that it is the central concept around which Western notions and practices of mental health care revolve.

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