What is the distinguishing factor between catatonic schizophrenia and the other types of schizophrenia?
Catatonic schizophrenia is most defined by the movement or speech of the individual. People with catatonic schizophrenia can vary between two extremes…too much movement or too little. This can manifest as rigid posturing held for hours or even days at a time, or on the opposite extreme it can manifest as too much movement that seemingly has no purpose…such as pacing or other repetitive movements. People with catatonic schizophrenia may also talk very little or talk very fast…or speech may not be affected.
Paranoid schizophrenia is characterized by the prevalence of hallucinations and delusions of persecution. They often believe that there are conspiracies against them or that people are trying to hurt them. Movement and speech problems can still occur but with much less frequency or severity.
Disorganized schizophrenia is characterized by a problem in speech or actions. People with this type may dress in a manner that does not appear to make sense or is bizarre (such as wearing several coats in the summer). Or, their speech may be affected in a manner that causes them to talk in a pattern that is hard to follow or with words that seem to be out of order. They may jump from topic to topic without others being able to find a connection between the topics.
Undifferentiated schizophrenia is diagnosed when people exhibit symptoms common in the other types. For example, being paranoid, having hallucinations, and having very disorganized speech. Or having hallucinations and rigid posturing.
But really the distinguishing factor with catatonic schizophrenia is the pattern of movement…be it too little or too much.
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