What Is Undifferentiated Schizophrenia?  | Banyan Mental Health
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What Is Undifferentiated Schizophrenia? 

Schizophrenia is a serious and chronic mental health disorder in which the individual interprets reality abnormally. Schizophrenia causes various symptoms, including hallucinations, delusions, and extremely disordered thinking and behavior that impairs daily function. Like many other disorders, schizophrenia has various subtypes, one of them being schizophrenia undifferentiated type. Our Banyan Mental Health program in Boca is sharing more on this rare disorder and how we can help. 

Undifferentiated Schizophrenia Definition 

Schizophrenia is a serious mental health disorder that can cause drastic and disabling symptoms that can impair a person’s ability to:

  • Think clearly and make decisions 
  • Perceive reality, including changes in smell, taste, touch, hearing, or vision 
  • Interact with their environment and others 
  • Manage and express emotions and respond appropriately to them 
  • Use motor reflexes 
  • Process information to make decisions 
  • Remember, concentrate, and pay attention 
  • Follow a logical chain of thoughts when speaking 
  • Communicate effectively  
About 1% of people in the U.S. have schizophrenia. However, diagnosis of this disorder poses various challenges, so the number of people who have it may actually be higher.   When diagnosing a mental illness, doctors use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which lists the various symptoms and criteria that a person has to display and fulfill to be diagnosed with a particular condition.   The previous edition of the DSM (DSM-4) contained five subtypes of schizophrenia that were classified according to the symptoms they would cause. These included paranoid type, disorganized type, catatonic type, hebephrenic/disorganized type, and residual type.   The DSM-4 used the term undifferentiated schizophrenia to describe someone who experiences psychotic symptoms but doesn’t meet the criteria for other subtypes of schizophrenia. The current edition of the book – DSM-5 – doesn’t contain any subtypes of schizophrenia, so the term undifferentiated schizophrenia is no longer in use.   However, because research on mental illness is ongoing and continually presents new information, the DSM is usually updated frequently, so it’s important to be aware of older criteria even if it’s not in use. Also known as undifferential schizophrenia, undifferentiated schizophrenia is a type of schizophrenia that is diagnosed when a person meets the criteria for diagnosis for schizophrenia but cannot be classified into any of the subtypes. 

Undifferentiated Schizophrenia Symptoms 

The signs and symptoms of undifferentiated schizophrenia may include a variety of symptoms that don’t fall into a specific subtype.

Common undifferentiated schizophrenia symptoms include:  

  • Hallucinations 
  • Delusions 
  • Disorganized thinking 
  • Reduced emotional expression (also known as the flat effect) 
  • Reduced speaking 
  • Trouble focusing and decision making 
  • Challenge related to retaining information (memory) 
  • Behaviors that seem disconnected from the person’s reality or situation 
  • Atypical movements or catatonia 
  • Decreased self-motivation  
  • Lack of interest in social activities or activities the person once enjoyed 
  • A diminished sense of pleasure or joy 

According to the DSM-5, a person has schizophrenia if they meet the following criteria: 

  • At least 2 of the following symptoms are present in 1 month (or less with treatment): 
  • Hallucinations 
  • Delusions 
  • Disorganized or catatonic behavior 
  • Negative symptoms (symptoms that indicate a loss of regular function) 
  • Disorganized speech 
  • One of the current symptoms of a diagnosis must be hallucinations, delusions, or disorganized speech. 
  • Since the onset or start of symptoms, symptoms have caused clinical impairment in one or more areas of major function. 
  • Symptoms have been present for at least 6 months, during which there is at least 1 month of active phase symptoms. 
  • Other mental health conditions, such as schizoaffective disorder or bipolar disorder with psychotic features, have been ruled out. 
  • Symptoms aren’t linked to the effects of a substance, such as drugs or alcohol. 
If you suspect that you or a loved one may have schizophrenia, our residential mental health program in Boca offers in-house care and support that separates clients from their everyday lives so they can focus on getting better and learning how to properly cope with their symptoms.  

Undifferentiated Schizophrenia Treatment 

Chronic undifferentiated schizophrenia is a big deal, so you want to make sure that the diagnosis you receive is accurate. Our facility can help you confirm whether you have a mental health disorder or not. We offer mental health diagnosis services in which you meet with our specialists and undergo a thorough clinical assessment to pinpoint symptoms and determine whether you have a mental health disorder.   For those who are diagnosed with schizophrenia, our Banyan mental health center offers schizophrenia treatment that provides round-the-clock guidance and support. During treatment, clients will meet with our therapists to better understand the source of their disorders and how to best manage their symptoms outside of rehab.  For more information about our mental illness treatment in Boca, call Banyan Treatment Centers today at 888-280-4763 

Related Reading:  
How Schizophrenia Was Portrayed in A Beautiful Mind 
Famous People with Schizophrenia: History Edition 
Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.

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