Disorganized schizophrenia, or hebephrenia, is one of the five subtypes of schizophrenia that is no longer recognized as a separate diagnosis in the DSM but the symptoms still exist and may signal oncoming psychosis.
Disorganized schizophrenia (hebephrenia) is one of the five subtypes of schizophrenia that are no longer included in the Diagnositic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the manual used by health care professionals published by the American Psychiatric Association.
The symptoms of disorganized thoughts and behavior are known as hebephrenia. Hebephrenia is characterized by disorganized behavior and speech as well as disturbance in emotional expression, known as mood incongruence.
Hallucinations and delusions are less pronounced with disorganized schizophrenia, though there is evidence of these symptoms occurring.
Disorganized speech in schizophrenia—sometimes referred to as clanging—can cause people to have difficulty concentrating and maintaining a train of thought, which manifests in the way they speak.
People with disorganized speech might speak incoherently, respond to questions with unrelated answers, say illogical things, or shift topics frequently. Signs of disorganized speech involve the following:
Loose associations: Rapidly shifting between topics with no connections between topics
Perseveration: Repeating the same things over and over again
Made up words that only have meaning to the speaker
Use of rhyming words without meaning When cognitive disorganization is severe, it can be nearly impossible to understand what the person is saying.
Disorganized behavior in schizophrenia negatively impacts goal-directed behavior. A person with disorganized schizophrenia is likely to have difficulty beginning a specific task (ex: cooking a meal) or difficulty finishing a task. Independent functioning is exceptionally difficult due to this gross disorganization.
Disorganized behavior can manifest as the following:
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