Schizophrenia is a complex and chronic mental health disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. To friends and family members, a loved one with this mental health condition may seem as though they have lost touch with reality, often seeing and hearing things that aren’t there. They may say or do things that don’t make sense and their behavior can appear strange or even alarming to those who don’t understand.
The disorganized form is just one of five different types of schizophrenia. The others include paranoid, residual, catatonic, and undifferentiated. Although each one is categorized by different symptoms, the one thing that they all have in common is that living with schizophrenia can make it extremely difficult to function at work, school, and in society in general. Fortunately, although there is no cure, schizophrenia can be controlled with proper treatment that includes psychotherapy.
Symptoms of Disorganized Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia usually manifests in young adulthood, with the majority of cases affecting women. It is very uncommon in children and although men can develop the disorder, it usually doesn’t occur until middle age. Schizophrenic symptoms can vary widely from person to person but are generally grouped into three categories: negative, cognitive, and psychotic.
Within the category of psychotic symptoms are hallucinations, delusions, and thought disorder. For people with disorganized schizophrenia, the thought disorder symptoms such as disorganized speech and behavior are most prominent and the hallucinations and delusions are minor or nearly absent.
People with disorganized schizophrenia may find it difficult to process information which can affect the way they speak. Some examples of disorganized speech include:
- Saying illogical things
- Giving unrelated answers to questions
- Rapidly shifting between topics of conversation
- Use of made up or nonsense words
- Repeating the same things over and over
- Problems with the use and order of words
Other types of thought disorder symptoms include those that impact one’s ability to carry out a specific task. Some examples of this disorganized behavior include:
- Repeating movements such as pacing
- Slow movements
- Lack of impulse control
- Doing things that appear to lack purpose
- Inappropriate emotional responses
- Overall decline in routine behaviors and daily functioning
Causes of Disorganized Schizophrenia
Similar to other forms, the exact cause of disorganized schizophrenia is unknown, although It’s thought to be influenced by a combination of environmental, biological, and genetic factors. The following are some of the risk factors that may contribute to its development:
- Childhood trauma
- Malnutrition or a viral infection while still in the womb
- Family history of schizophrenia
- Stressful situations or living in a stressful environment
- Imbalance in brain neurotransmitters
Treatment For Disorganized Schizophrenia
Disorganized schizophrenia affects each person differently with regard to the type and intensity of symptoms. Some people will experience minor impaired functioning while others may have more severe symptoms that make it nearly impossible for them to work, complete daily tasks, or maintain healthy relationships.
Treatment for schizophrenia usually involves a combination of psychotherapy, medication, and self-care strategies that are aimed at managing symptoms and solving problems related to daily functioning. With a dedication to ongoing treatment, those living with schizophrenia can improve the course of the disorder and go on to live a fulfilling life.
If you or someone you know is struggling with schizophrenia and you’re searching for a Beverly Hills psychotherapist who can help, we encourage you to contact Blair Wellness Group at 310.999.4996 to schedule an appointment.
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