Mental health disorders can be complicated and difficult to diagnose, as it is common for symptoms to vary from person to person in type and intensity. One such disorder that is particularly complex is schizophrenia. People who are diagnosed with schizophrenia have difficulty distinguishing between false perceptions and reality. This is also known as psychosis. What often makes schizophrenia so difficult to identify and treat is that it may also come with symptoms that are common with other mental health conditions and these symptoms can change or fluctuate over time.
To better understand individual schizophrenia cases, subtypes have been created that are based on the predominant symptoms a person is experiencing. One such subtype is known as residual schizophrenia — and for people who have been diagnosed with this form, it’s the lack of symptoms that put their illness into this category.
If you are searching for the best psychologist in Los Angeles to help you or a loved one understand and cope with symptoms related to schizophrenia, please call Blair Wellness Group to make an appointment.
Understanding Residual Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a lifelong mental health disorder. However, that doesn’t mean that if you have it, you’ll always be dealing with acute symptoms that impair daily functioning. For most people, their symptoms will fluctuate, increasing and decreasing in severity over time. A person’s diagnosed subtype of schizophrenia can even change throughout the course of their illness.
Residual schizophrenia is the form of schizophrenia assigned when an individual no longer displays prominent symptoms. That’s not to say that they will be completely symptom-free, however, the characteristic hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized behaviors are significantly diminished.
Symptoms of Residual Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia symptoms are generally grouped into three categories — positive (or psychotic), negative, and cognitive (also known as disorganized). Positive symptoms are those that are abnormally present such as hearing, seeing, or believing in things that are not real. Negative symptoms are those that are abnormally absent such as neglect for self-care or inability to talk or move. Cognitive symptoms include difficulty processing information, disorganized speech, and repeating the same movements or words over and over.
For those with residual schizophrenia, they may exhibit mild to moderate negative symptoms, but there are minimal or nonexistent positive symptoms. In other words, someone may have experienced hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized speech in the past, but at present, they are significantly diminished and they are only experiencing negative symptoms.
Some examples of negative symptoms include:
- Difficulty paying attention
- Social isolation
- Loss of interest in daily activities
- Reduced emotional expression
- Self-care neglect
- Inappropriate emotional responses
- Reduction in speech or movement
Causes of Residual Schizophrenia
As with other forms, the exact cause of residual schizophrenia is unclear. It is thought to be influenced by a number of biological, environmental, and genetic factors. The following are some of the possible contributing risk factors:
- Childhood trauma or stress
- Parental age of conception
- Fetal viral infection
- Family history of schizophrenia
- Stressful situations or living in a stressful environment
- Imbalance in brain chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin
Residual Schizophrenia Treatment
Residual schizophrenia may be one of the least severe types of this mental illness, but treatment is still necessary. All forms of schizophrenia are chronic conditions that can improve and worsen many times throughout a person’s lifetime. Unfortunately, it is unlikely to ever go away entirely, which is why ongoing support and treatment are essential for positive health and wellbeing.
If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of schizophrenia and you’re searching for the best psychologist in Los Angeles, we encourage you to contact Blair Wellness Group. Dr. Cassidy Blair is a licensed clinical psychologist who is expertly trained and experienced in all types of mental health disorders including schizophrenia. Call today to schedule an appointment at 310.999.4996.
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