Classification of schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is classified according to the most common symptoms the person has.

  • Paranoid schizophrenia. The most common type of schizophrenia is paranoid schizophrenia. People with paranoid schizophrenia have frightening thoughts and hear threatening voices. This causes them to act afraid or to argue with other people. Sometimes people with paranoid schizophrenia attack other people or objects in their surroundings because they are afraid of them. This type often develops later in life than other types of schizophrenia. People with paranoid schizophrenia often get better with treatment.
  • Disorganized schizophrenia. Disorganized schizophrenia is rare but is the most serious type of schizophrenia. People who have this type have unpredictable behaviors. They may act silly and giggle for no apparent reason. They often make up words and sentences that make no sense to other people. In addition, they often do not show facial expressions. Disorganized schizophrenia is sometimes called hebephrenic schizophrenia.
  • Catatonic schizophrenia. Catatonic schizophrenia is rare. People with catatonic schizophrenia have episodes in which they sit or stand like a statue for long periods of time (catatonic stupor). In addition, they can have episodes of meaningless and intense activity (catatonic excitement). During these episodes of intense activity, they may injure themselves or other people.
  • Undifferentiated schizophrenia. Undifferentiated schizophrenia refers to schizophrenia in which the symptoms do not fit the other types of schizophrenia.
  • Residual schizophrenia. Residual schizophrenia refers to the continued presence of symptoms of schizophrenia during a remission.

Last Updated: August 28, 2008

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