Schizophrenia is a group of disorders that affects many mental and physical elements such as a loss of contact with reality, a deterioration of social functioning and a loss of logic. Schizophrenia is not a disease where everyone diagnosed with the disease experiences the same symptoms. There are many different types of schizophrenics. Scientists have identified five types of schizophrenia: disorganized, paranoid, catatonic, residual and undifferentiated. (DSM-IV -TR, 2000) These five types of schizophrenics experience many symptoms, positive and negative. Many of those diagnosed can live independently and others need to have every one of their basic needs cared for. There are many different diagnoses of schizophrenia not only one type, each type showing different symptoms.
When a doctor diagnoses a patient with schizophrenia the patient will either be deemed a positive or negative schizophrenic or a combination of both (DSM -IV -TR, 2000). Positive schizophrenia is a much better diagnoses with a better chance of eventual recovery or a chance of remission. Positive symptoms are delusions and hallucinations, these symptoms are considered positive because most of these individuals can live an independent life and interact in an occupational setting.
Negative symptoms on the other hand are seen as something that is taken away from the individual. “Negative Symptoms of schizophrenia are best conceptualized as “defects” that is, as something taken away from the personality of the person. Predominant negative symptoms Poverty of speech (algoia), restricted effect and diminished emotional range. Diminished interest in the environment and a reduction in curiosity. No sense of purpose, diminished interest in social interaction with others” (Null, 2002 p.225). No truly effective treatments for these symptoms have been discovered too date.
The first type, a disorganized schizophrenic, exhibits both positive and negative symptoms. The thought processes of those infected are very disconnected from reality and experience a rapid deterioration between illusion and reality. Speech and behavior are disordered or jumbled (Null, 2000). The patient displays emotional responses which are not appropriate for the given situation. “Sometimes their can be a “silliness” to them, including giggling, strange mannerism frequent hypochondria cal complaints and perhaps unusual facial expressions their may be delusions and hallucinations but they appear disconnected. Negative symptoms: Constricted emotional range and intellectual abilities, poverty of content of speech” (Null, 2000 p.226).
Disorganized patients are overpowered by their negative symptoms and are commonly committed to psych hospitals. These people cannot function independently. They have a very poor sense of hygiene and a no ability to look after their own well being (Lefton, 2002). A conversation with a disorganized schizophrenic would be interrupted by the patient bursting out in laughter for no apparent reason, or crying, even obscene gestures or actions. That is why these people cannot live in society. Paranoid Schizophrenia is the most famous type, with its patient sometimes exhibiting delusions of grandeur where they feel they are someone very important. Patients may believe that they are God or sent by him to complete a mission.
“Emotional disturbances greater confusion in interpreting their thoughts and environment. Patients of paranoid type often display symptoms such as delusions of persecution (often logical). Delusions of Grandeur, hallucinations often supporting his delusions toward self decoration and display. Assaultive tendencies under stress of delusion” (Narrowmore, 1984 p. 281-282). Paranoid type is the hardest to study because many diagnosed as a Paranoid schizophrenic can lead a relatively normal life hiding their disease. When they are striving for something they want they can be very sociable and contribute to society.
The reality for these people is they deserve what they desire. Basically the desires of these people are so strong that whatever they want either materialistic, physical or emotionally they believe they have the right to have it, no matter what the consequences. When they cannot achieve something they can act out in very violent ways and this is when these people are commonly diagnosed with the disease.
Commonly the chosen defense in court situations was that the hallucination told them to commit the crimes (Narrowmore, 1984). At times these people believe that certain people, objects or animals are giving them message to carry out a certain task. David Berkowitz also known as the Son of Sam, had killed many young women in the summer of 1976, and he felt that demons spoke to him through the barking of the neighbor’s dogs. Hallucinations are common for people with Paranoid Schizophrenia but the hallucinations come in many different forms.