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What is residual schizophrenia?

Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Medicine
Residual schizophrenia is a type of schizophrenia where a person displays mostly the negative symptoms of schizophrenia. To understand this type of schizophrenia, it is important to understand the difference between positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia.

- Positive symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized thoughts and behavior. Examples of positive symptoms include hearing and seeing things that are not real, acting inappropriately, and talking in a made-up language.
- Negative symptoms are observed when a person with schizophrenia lacks a normal range of thoughts and behaviors. Negative symptoms include having a lack of interest in daily life, showing flat or blunted emotions, being unable to bathe, get dressed, or make food for one's self, and withdrawing from others.

To be diagnosed with residual schizophrenia, people must have had debilitating positive symptoms of schizophrenia for at least six months. Once the positive symptoms disappear, negative symptoms persist for some time. During this phase of negative symptoms only, a person is classified as a residual schizophrenic.

Residual schizophrenia is one of several types of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia has different kinds of symptoms, some of which are characterized as positive, others as negative, and still others as cognitive. People with residual schizophrenia tend to have more of the negative symptoms over time while still having had periods of positive symptoms. The periods of negative symptoms tend to be milder than those of positive symptoms. Examples of positive symptoms include hallucinations and difficulty with putting thoughts together logically; negative symptoms include isolating oneself from others, blunted emotions, and losing interest in everyday life; cognitive symptoms include problems with memory and attention.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.