The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnosis and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) no longer recognizes five subtypes of schizophrenia, one of which is disorganized schizophrenia (hebephrenia).
Hebephrenia is characterized by chaotic thinking and acting. Disorganized behavior and speech, as well as a distortion in emotional expression known as mood incongruence, are hallmarks of hebephrenia.
Disorganized schizophrenia is characterized by less severe manifestations of hallucinations and delusions.
Schizophrenia’s Hebephrenic Symptoms
Clanking, or disorganized speech, is a common symptom of schizophrenia that presents itself in the speaker’s inability to focus and keep their thoughts in order.
Disorganized talkers may ramble on without a clear plan, answer inquiries with irrelevant information, make illogical assertions, or change the subject constantly. The following are symptoms of disordered speech:
- Loose associations: bouncing rapidly from one subject to another without providing any context
- Doing something over and over again despite resistance
- False words that have significance only to the speaker
- Lack of sense in the use of rhyme
When someone has significant cognitive disorganization, it can be quite difficult to grasp what they are saying.
The disordered actions typical of schizophrenia can hinder the pursuit of meaningful goals. A person with disorganized schizophrenia may have trouble getting started on an activity or completing it (such as making a meal). This extreme disorder makes independent functioning extremely challenging.
The following are some symptoms of disorganized behavior:
- Symptoms that indicate a deterioration in everyday functioning
- Emotional reactions that are unexpected or out of place
- Inability to Control Impulses
- Acts that don’t make sense or seem random
Normal self-care routines including showering, getting dressed, and dental hygiene may become impossible or substantially compromised.
Inappropriate affect describes a person’s emotional responses and the outward manifestations of those feelings (such as a smile when delighted).
People with disorganized schizophrenia have a “flat affect,” meaning they rarely, if ever, convey any emotion in their behavior. They may show emotions that are out of place, like laughing at a tragic movie. People with disorganized schizophrenia often display other unfavorable symptoms, such as an inability to make eye contact and a flat, emotionless expression on their faces.
If you’re between the ages of 15 and 25, you have a higher risk of developing disorganized schizophrenia. Lower educational attainment, more pronounced negative symptoms, and cognitive impairments are all factors that have been linked to an unfavorable prognosis, especially when the onset of symptoms occurs at a younger age.
Treatment Of Hebephrenic Schizophrenia
Getting started on treatment quickly is essential for a full recovery. Multiple methods, including the following, are used in the treatment of disorganized schizophrenia.
Medication management Schizophrenia medication can help alleviate symptoms like hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, and thought disorders. The most noticeable signs of an illness are crucial in determining the most effective treatment.
In order to alleviate some symptoms and improve overall functioning, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is prescribed as a form of psychotherapy. During CBT, patients zero in on specific sources of distress and attempt to establish personalized solutions.
Assistance with life skills training can assist people with disorganized schizophrenia to improve their social interactions and daily living abilities, with the ultimate goal of fostering greater autonomy.
Individuals with disorganized schizophrenia can benefit from supported employment programs, which provide guidance in securing and keeping gainful employment.
People with disorganized schizophrenia benefit from consistent contact with family members, who can provide both information and support. Family assistance that helps educate loved ones on schizophrenia and its treatment is essential. A better knowledge of the disease and more effective coping mechanisms can be achieved with the aid of family support.
First-episode psychosis in early-stage schizophrenia responds well to a multi-component treatment plan that includes psychotherapy, medication case management, employment and education support, and family resources; this approach is known as coordinated specialty care (CSC).
Disorganized schizophrenia typically presents at a younger age, although its symptoms are not always easy to recognize in their early stages. This subtype’s symptoms tend to develop slowly and persistently. The prognosis for people with disorganized schizophrenia does improve with proper and continued treatment, though.
People with disorganized schizophrenia can benefit greatly from help with activities of daily living, education, employment opportunities, and family support in order to slow the progression of their illness.