Disorganized schizophrenia is a dangerous socio-psychological disorder. Highly complex, it can be predicted if certain symptoms begin to surface. Read this PsycholoGenie article to know about its symptoms.
An 18-year-old girl (Samantha), was admitted to the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Unit in the Department of Pediatrics, Maribor Teaching Hospital, Maribor, Slovenia, for suspected disorganized (formerly called hebephrenic) schizophrenia. A year earlier, at the age of 17, she had begun to laugh without reason, and her behavior had become silly and disorganized. Her emotional responses were inappropriate. She started grimacing and became paramimic and parathymic. She withdrew socially and began to shut herself in her room. She had auditory hallucinations, consisting of a running commentary on her behavior (which she found pleasant). At that time, there were no changes in her school performance, which was already consistently below average; however, her school performance deteriorated three months before admission to hospital, when she became unable to do any schoolwork. She also became disoriented as to her whereabouts and got lost several times. There had been no aberrations in her developmental milestones. Until recently, she had not had any disease or needed any medical care. – This is a case study included in the psychology course. On careful testing and analysis, the patient was diagnosed with disorganized (hebephrenic) schizophrenia.
A sincere request to all the readers, before they start reading this article. Not all psychological patients are mad or psychotic. Do not patronize them, if you can’t help them. If you know of anyone showing any of the symptoms discussed in this article, please be humane enough to consult a psychiatrist or psychologist with reference to them.
Disorganized schizophrenia is a very curable mental disorder. However, if ignored it can often compel the patient to attempt suicide. A controlled environment and medication can cure the person with this disorder. Samantha was given an atypical antipsychotic drug called risperidone, twice a day. It showed considerably speedy improvement.
Like all psychological disorders, symptoms of disorganized schizophrenia in a person can be noticed through the following hints. Seldom will the patient admit that something is wrong with them, but the near and dear ones can be vigilant.
- Firstly, the patient will be active, as usual, but in a fairly (sometimes, extremely) aimless manner. For example, they will be moving around without having a destination in mind.
- Secondly, inappropriate emotional responses are characteristic to patients with this disorder. Something like laughing or crying without any reason during a family outing could be the warning signs.
- Thirdly, patients are highly delusional. They will concoct beliefs and will stick to them with all their might. There are also chances that they will enforce those beliefs on others without explaining it to them.
- Fourthly, such schizophrenics display an acute inability to feel pleasure. They seem to be devoid of the emotion, all together. This may lead them to attempt suicide.
- Fifthly, they will grin at everyone without reason and not in a very happy way.
- Sixthly, they will show the most unmotivated behavior. In fact, they will actually seem devoid of emotions, in general.
- And lastly, the signs of hallucinations. The person will claim to see or hear something that doesn’t exist (it does in their mind). They will not necessarily be complaining about it, but it is still be a cause of concern. They will also show very silly behavior. In this case people assume that the person is simply being silly, but it’s a sign prompting you to keep an eye out for the other symptoms.
Disorganized schizophrenics need help and support. As stated earlier, if they feel low or extremely lonely, they will not hesitate to take drastic steps to end their life. Even after the patient has been treated, care has to be taken to make sure they take their medication as prescribed and are given an environment of love, support, and happiness.