Residual Type of Schizophrenia: Definition, Lesson & Quiz

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Sarah Lavoie

Sarah has taught Psychology at the college level and has a master's degree in Counseling Psychology.

Just like cancer and other diseases, schizophrenia is an illness with many sub-types. In this lesson you will learn about the Residual Type of Schizophrenia and reinforce your learning with a quiz.

We also recommend watching Phases of Schizophrenia: Prodromal, Active, and Residual and Schizophrenia

What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that affects about 1% of the population. In psychiatry, schizophrenia is a type of psychotic disorder. A psychotic disorder is characterized by a loss of contact with reality. Schizophrenia is most often the disorder people are thinking of when they use the word 'insane.'

Symptoms of Schizophrenia

  • Hallucinations and Delusions: Hallucinations are experiences that are real in every way to the person experiencing them, but lack a genuine sensory stimulus. Delusions are another symptom often experienced by schizophrenics. Just as a hallucination is a false sensory experience, a delusion is a false belief. Both hallucinations and delusions are considered positive symptoms of schizophrenia.
  • Positive and Negative Symptoms: This doesn't mean 'good vs. bad.' In this instance, the word positive means that they are present. Just like you can be positive or negative for strep throat, a positive result shows strep throat is present. This is the same for schizophrenic symptoms. A negative symptom is when the patient is lacking something that is normally present in a healthy person, such as a normal range of emotions.

Residual Type of Schizophrenia

The Residual Type of Schizophrenia is a subtype of schizophrenia. Subtypes of schizophrenia can be diagnosed in a variety of situations. Schizophrenia can produce different symptoms at different periods in a person's life, and doctors will diagnose a sub-type of schizophrenia when certain symptoms or categories of symptoms are either more prominent or missing altogether.

Residual type of schizophrenia is most often diagnosed when a person is in a transitional stage between full schizophrenia and complete remission. Residual schizophrenia is well named since it may only be lingering symptoms left over from a full-blown schizophrenic episode.

To diagnose residual type schizophrenia, a patient has to have had at least one full-blown episode of schizophrenia in the past. If the patient does not currently have positive symptoms (hallucinations or delusions) but shows negative symptoms, they can be diagnosed with residual type schizophrenia. This means that they are experiencing negative symptoms such as lack of emotion and motivation. One of the difficulties with the diagnosis of residual schizophrenia is that many negative symptoms of schizophrenia can mimic the signs and symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder, neurological issues or side effects of prescription medication.

Residual type of schizophrenia can often be a very positive change in diagnosis from full-blown schizophrenia. Those living with residual schizophrenia are often those that have had long-term treatment and can frequently live relatively normal lives.

Causes and Treatment of Schizophrenia

Research strongly suggests that schizophrenia is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Just like many other diseases such as heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia is more likely to occur if a parent or other close relative has had it. This means that heredity can play a role, as can a person's particular experiences throughout life. Psychologists believe that the causes vary for every person.

With strong treatment and social support it is possible to continue to recover from residual schizophrenia. The most effective treatment is a combination of antipsychotic medication and talk therapy with an experienced therapist.

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