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What is Residual Schizophrenia?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Residual schizophrenia is a mild form of schizophrenia that can persist for a year or more after a psychotic episode. The patient still experiences some symptoms of the more severe form of this mental health condition, but does not experience total disorganization or a complete disruption of daily life. There are treatments available for residual schizophrenia, including medications as well as psychotherapy. Some patients recover well after an adjustment period.

To be diagnosed with schizophrenia, patients generally need to experience some combination of delusions, hallucinations, disorganized behavior, a flattened affect, and disorganized speech. If hallucinations or delusions are severe, that may be enough for a diagnosis. When symptoms of schizophrenia are intense, the patient is said to be having a psychotic episode. Patients in psychosis have a complete break with reality and their symptoms dominate their experience of the world.

After such episodes end, some patients experience residual schizophrenia. They are not psychotic, but they do have low-level negative symptoms of schizophrenia like depression, disinterest in the world, a decline in motor skills, confusion, or apathy. Hallucinations and delusions may occur, but they are usually low level. If someone has a history of psychotic episodes and experiences these symptoms, it can mean that the person has residual schizophrenia.

A thorough evaluation by a psychiatrist is needed to diagnose this condition. There are several mood disorders that can have similar symptoms and it is important to rule out those potential causes because they are treated differently. After careful review of a patient's medical history and one or more sessions with the patient, a psychiatrist can provide a diagnosis and make treatment recommendations.

Some medications can help balance the mood of a patient with residual schizophrenia. These can help the patient engage in the tasks of daily life. Psychotherapy can also be beneficial for some patients, giving them an opportunity to talk with a therapist in a focused environment about issues that may be troubling them. Therapy can include discussions about coping techniques and other tools that a patient may find useful.

People with schizophrenia can experience a social stigma. There are numerous misconceptions about this mental illness and the forms it takes. There are a number of different types of schizophrenia, and they can manifest in very different ways in individual patients. People with friends or family who have been diagnosed with this condition can find a number of resources for learning more about it and finding out how they can help their loved ones.

TheHealthBoard is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a TheHealthBoard researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By anon346047 — On Aug 24, 2013

We humans are two parts: body and mind. If the body is sick or has a broken leg or blind eye, it will get help from most 'normal' people in the society, although few may still be mindless enough to joke or taunt .

However, for a sick mind, you may get help from a few if you are lucky, but the 'normal' society is ruthlessly ready to ridicule. This is in addition to anon266771.

By anon266771 — On May 07, 2012

Schizophrenia has been considered a psychiatric disorder so far, but now it's debated whether it completely is a neurological disorder or not.

It has been proven that bad parenting styles cannot lead to the development of schizophrenia, as said by Nancy Andreasen, a prominent psychiatrist. When it comes to stigma, I should say that all those people labeling different, or sick people are psychopaths themselves. Most of the people are really mean and evil. A good education is not necessary and if you can have empathy and feelings, you wouldn't bully or gossip about sick (schizophrenic) people.

Normality is nothing but talking badly behind different people's backs, obeying the stupid, nonsense social norms, conforming to fashion, bullying outcast people, being shallow and talking trivial stuff all the time.

What I am trying to say is that we just don't have to prevent schizophrenic patients from being stigmatized, but we also have to notice that all the people who label others are the latent psychopaths. Normality is a "mild form of psychopathy", and we have to make everyone learn that.

By Qohe1et — On Jan 17, 2011

Schizophrenia can be described as "sleeping awake." The mind of the person with schizophrenia is normally affected within the age range of 15-25 over a gradual process of breaking with reality, and the person begins to see things and feel that they must behave a certain way due to fear and illusory motivation.

By ShadowGenius — On Jan 14, 2011

Despite common perception, schizophrenia is very seldom violent. What can contribute to pushing a schizophrenic towards violence is bitter or angry rhetoric on the part of people around them. The schizophrenic senses that something is upsetting to such a person whom they care about, and are empathetically affected by their anger. Since people with this mental disorder can have little control over their thought patterns, they may be led to act in an irrational manner. It is important to make sure that you do not have a negative influence on a fragile mind.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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