Disorganized type schizophrenia is defined by scattered behaviors that are nonsensical and have no purpose. Also called hebephrenic schizophrenia or just disorganized schizophrenia, patients who are diagnosed with this disorder often have a difficult time having functional relationships with others or being able to manage their day-to-day affairs.
Too often, rather than seek medical and psychiatric treatment for the disorder, patients turn to drugs and alcohol in an attempt to self-medicate their symptoms. Unfortunately, rather than improve the situation, it only serves to worsen the symptoms that the patient was trying to lessen and causes a host of other issues driven by the new diagnosis of substance abuse and addiction.
If schizophrenia and alcoholism or drug addiction are stopping your loved one from living a full life, contact us at the phone number above to learn more about dual diagnosis rehab and how it can help.
The signs of disorganized type schizophrenia are typical of what many people generally associate with schizophrenia. According to Medline Plus, they include:
- Inappropriate responses in social situations (e.g., laughing in serious situations)
- Ongoing activity that is not constructive or purposeful
- Inability to experience joy or happiness
- Delusional obsessions
- Inability to manage day-to-day issues (e.g., hygiene, mundane household tasks, work, etc.)
- Hallucinations, visual and auditory
- Nonsensical behavior and speech
- Fixed facial expressions, grimacing
The hallmark symptoms that set disorganized schizophrenia apart from other types of schizophrenia are the continuous behaviors and speech that are purposeless. When combined with alcohol or drug use, this characteristic of the disorder can worsen significantly.
Patients diagnosed with schizophrenia are usually treated with one or more medications – but due to the nature of the disorder, it can be difficult for patients to stay on track, taking medications daily and attending doctors’ appointments as needed to discuss results and adjust dosages. Many opt for what they see as the simpler and more manageable option: attempting to self-medicate using alcohol and illicit drugs.
The fact is, however, that this practice not only doesn’t work, it almost always has the opposite of the intended effect. Disorganized schizophrenic patients who drink and use drugs will usually experience symptoms such as:
- Experience a worsening of schizophrenia symptoms
- Experience more frequent episodes of overwhelming symptoms
- Develop new symptoms or problems caused by alcohol or drug use (e.g., physical health problems)
- Derail any progress made in schizophrenia treatment
Dual Diagnosis Treatment
When someone is living with a mental health disorder like schizophrenia and a substance abuse disorder, it is called a dual diagnosis. A program that affords these patients intensive intervention on both fronts at the same time can help them find lasting recovery. In this way, they can make progress in managing their schizophrenia symptoms without alcohol and drug use erasing their progress. They can also learn new coping skills that replace drug and alcohol use, allowing them to begin to build a new life defined by balance and stability.
If your loved one is struggling due to the consequences of substance abuse and a mental health disorder like disorganized schizophrenia, we can help you to connect with a treatment program that will help them to begin the healing process. Contact us at the phone number listed above today. We’re here to answer your questions and assist you in finding the right rehab for your loved one.
Further Reading About Disorganized Type
David W. Newton is a board certified pharmacist and also has been a board member for boards of examiners for the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy since 1983. His areas of expertise are primarily pharmaceuticals as well as cannabinoids. You can read an article about his expertise in CBD on the National Library of Medicine.
Reviewed by: Kim Chin and Marian Newton