There are five major subtypes of Schizophrenia, each
classified by their most prominent symptom:
a) Paranoid Schizophrenia
The defining feature of paranoid Schizophrenia is
absurd or suspicious ideas and beliefs. These ideas
typically revolve around a coherent, organized theme
or “story” that remains consistent over time.
Delusions of persecution are the most frequent
theme; however delusions of grandeur are also
People with paranoid Schizophrenia show a history of
increasing paranoia and difficulties in their
relationships. They tend to function better than
individuals with other schizophrenic subtypes. In
contrast, their thinking and behavior is less
disordered and their long-term prognosis is better.
do not show grossly disorganized speech or behaviour
very resistant to arguments against their
typically tense, suspicious, guarded, sometimes
hostile or aggressive (violence and suicide)
onset usually at a later age than the other types
b) Disorganized Schizophrenia
Disorganized Schizophrenia generally appears at an
earlier age than other types of Schizophrenia. Its
onset is gradual, rather than abrupt, with the
person gradually retreating into his or her
The distinguishing characteristics of this subtype
are disorganized speech, disorganized behavior, and
blunted or inappropriate emotions. People with
disorganized Schizophrenia also have trouble taking
care of themselves, and may be unable to perform
simple tasks such as bathing or feeding themselves.
The symptoms of disorganized Schizophrenia include:
Impaired communication skills
Incomprehensible or illogical speech
Inappropriate reactions (e.g. laughing at a
Infantile behavior (baby talk, giggling)
Peculiar facial expressions and mannerisms
People with disorganized Schizophrenia sometimes
suffer from hallucinations and delusions, but unlike
the paranoid subtype, their fantasies aren’t
consistent or organized.
c) Catatonic Schizophrenia
The hallmark of catatonic Schizophrenia is a
disturbance in movement: either a decrease in motor
activity, reflecting a stuporous state, or an
increase in motor activity, reflecting an
Stuporous motor signs.
The stuporous state
reflects a dramatic reduction in activity. The
person often ceases all voluntary movement and
speech, and may be extremely resistant to any change
in his or her position, even to the point of holding
an awkward, uncomfortable position for hours.
Excited motor signs.
Sometimes, people with
catatonic Schizophrenia pass suddenly from a state
of stupor to a state of extreme excitement. During
this frenzied episode, they may shout, talk rapidly,
pace back and forth, or act out in violence—either
toward themselves or others.
People with catatonic Schizophrenia can be highly
suggestible. They may automatically obey commands,
imitate the actions of others, or mimic what others
d) Undifferentiated schizophrenia:
Patients are clearly schizophrenic, but cannot be
fitted into one of the above types.
e) Residual schizophrenia:
- continuing presence of schizophrenic disturbance
in the absence of a complete set of active symptoms
or of sufficient symptoms to meet the criteria
- e.g.Flat affect, social withdrawal, eccentric
behaviour, illogical thinking, mild loosening of
- no prominent delusions or hallucinations