simple schizophrenia

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Related to simple schizophrenia: hebephrenic schizophrenia, residual schizophrenia


 [skit-so-, skiz-o-fre´ne-ah]
any of a large group of mental disorders (the schizophrenic disorders) characterized by mental deterioration from a previous level of functioning and characteristic disturbances of multiple psychological processes, including delusions, loosening of associations, poverty of the content of speech, auditory hallucinations, inappropriate affect, disturbed sense of self, and withdrawal from the external world. adj., adj schizophren´ic.

Because the onset is usually in adolescence or early adulthood, schizophrenia was formerly called dementia praecox, a term still used by some European psychiatrists for process schizophrenia. The term schizophrenia literally means “split personality,” referring to portions of the psyche that are contradictory; it does not mean multiple personality disorder, which is the presence of distinct, autonomous alternate personalities.

There are various theories regarding causes of schizophrenia. Biologic theories include genetics, biochemicals, and structural alterations. It is generally accepted that schizophrenics inherit a genetic vulnerability for the disease, and this interacts with environmental factors in causation.
Classification. The current nomenclature classifies schizophrenia into five types. Disorganized (hebephrenic) schizophrenia is characterized by disorganized, incoherent thinking; shallow, inappropriate, and silly affect; and regressive behavior without systematized delusions. Catatonic schizophrenia is characterized by psychomotor disturbance which may involve stupor, rigidity, excitement, negativism, or posturing, or an alteration among these behaviors; associated features include mutism, stereotypy, and waxy flexibility. This type, once common, is now rare. Paranoid schizophrenia is characterized by persecutory or grandiose delusions, delusional jealousy, or hallucinations with persecutory or grandiose content. The undifferentiated type refers to cases in which there are prominent psychotic symptoms, such as delusions, hallucinations, incoherence, or grossly disorganized behavior, and which cannot be classified as one of the first three types. The residual type refers to cases in which the prominent psychotic symptoms of a previous episode have disappeared but signs of the illness, such as inappropriate affect, social withdrawal, or loosening of associations, persist.
Treatment. A variety of therapeutic measures may be used to help the schizophrenic patient cope with reality and the demands of everyday living. The combination of therapies will depend on the needs of the individual patient, age and family background, and the environment in which the patient must live. Among the kinds of therapy are treatment with one of the antipsychotic agents (formerly called neuroleptics) and intensive psychotherapy for outpatients and various forms of group therapy and milieu therapy for hospitalized patients.
childhood schizophrenia see pervasive developmental disorders.
catatonic schizophrenia a type of schizophrenia characterized by marked psychomotor disturbance, which may include immobility (stupor or catalepsy), excessive motor activity, extreme negativism, mutism, echolalia, echopraxia, and peculiar voluntary movements such as posturing, mannerisms, grimacing, or stereotyped behaviors.
latent schizophrenia older term for a type of schizophrenia characterized by clear symptoms of schizophrenia but no history of a psychotic schizophrenic episode; it includes conditions that have been called incipient, prepsychotic, prodromal, pseudoneurotic, and pseudopsychopathic schizophrenia. See schizoid personality disorder and schizotypal personality disorder.
pseudoneurotic schizophrenia a form characterized by all-pervasive anxiety and a wide variety of neurotic symptoms that initially mask underlying psychotic tendencies, which may be manifest as occasional, brief psychotic episodes. It is usually considered to be more of a personality disorder; see also schizotypal personality disorder.
pseudopsychopathic schizophrenia a term applied to patients in whom antisocial, impulsive, or sociopathic tendencies initially mask underlying psychotic tendencies typical of schizophrenia. It is often considered to be more of a personality disorder; see schizotypal personality disorder.
schizoaffective schizophrenia schizoaffective disorder.
simple schizophrenia a form characterized by gradual loss of drive, social withdrawal, and emotional apathy, but without prominent psychotic features. It is often considered to be a form of personality disorder; see schizotypal personality disorder.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

sim·ple schiz·o·phre·ni·a

schizophrenia characterized by withdrawal, apathy, indifference, and impoverishment of human relationships without overt psychotic features.
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