What Is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder characterized by a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation. Symptoms typically include auditory hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thinking, and negative symptoms such as a lack of motivation. It is often managed with a combination of medication and therapy.

therapist talking with patient

There are different types, or sub-types, of schizophrenia. The most common subtypes include paranoid, disorganized, catatonic, and undifferentiated schizophrenia. Each subtype is characterized by specific symptoms.

Paranoid schizophrenia is characterized by the presence of prominent delusions and/or hallucinations, often related to persecution or grandiosity. People with this subtype may also have feelings of mistrust or suspicion towards others, and may have difficulty forming relationships.

Disorganized schizophrenia, also known as hebephrenic schizophrenia, is characterized by disorganized speech and behavior. People with this subtype may have difficulty completing tasks or following through with plans, and may have trouble understanding or responding to their environment. They may also have inappropriate emotional responses or flat affect.

Catatonic schizophrenia is characterized by abnormal movements and behaviors, such as remaining in a rigid or immobile position for long periods of time, or having excessive and purposeless movement. People with this subtype may also experience hallucinations or delusions.

Undifferentiated schizophrenia is characterized by symptoms of schizophrenia, but the person does not fit into one of the other subtypes. This subtype is diagnosed when a person has symptoms such as hallucinations or delusions, but does not have the specific symptoms that are used to diagnose the other subtypes.

It's important to note that these are not distinct entities, and many people with schizophrenia will have symptoms that overlap across these subtypes. Also, the distinction between these subtypes is not always clear-cut and a person may have symptoms that fit into more than one subtype.

What are the symptoms of Schizophrenia?


Some of the most common symptoms of schizophrenia include:

  • Delusions: false beliefs that are not based in reality. For example, a person with schizophrenia may believe that they are being watched or followed by a government agency.
  • Hallucinations: seeing, hearing, or sensing things that are not actually there. For example, a person with schizophrenia may hear voices that are not real.
  • Disorganized speech: speaking in a way that is difficult to understand, or jumping from one topic to another without making logical connections.
  • Disorganized behavior: behaving in a way that is difficult to predict or understand, or being unable to complete tasks or carry out plans.
  • Negative symptoms: such as lack of motivation, social withdrawal, and lack of emotional expression.

Not everyone with schizophrenia will have all of these symptoms, and the symptoms can vary in severity from person to person. Also, it's important to note that these symptoms can be caused by other conditions as well, and a proper diagnosis can only be made by a qualified healthcare professional like a psychiatrist or a psychologist after a thorough evaluation.

If you suspect someone might have schizophrenia or any other mental health condition it's important to encourage them to seek professional help and support them in seeking help.

brain writes with white chalk is on hand, draw concept.

People with schizophrenia are at a higher risk of developing other mental illnesses, including:

  • Depression: Many people with schizophrenia experience symptoms of depression, such as feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in activities.
  • Anxiety disorders: People with schizophrenia may also experience symptoms of anxiety, such as fear, nervousness, or worry.
  • Substance use disorder: People with schizophrenia may be more likely to use alcohol or drugs in an attempt to self-medicate their symptoms.

Additionally, people with schizophrenia may also have difficulty with attention, memory and learning, and other cognitive deficits which can be comorbid with disorders such as ADHD, bipolar disorder and PTSD.

Other mental illnesses make diagnosis, treatment, and management of schizophrenia more complex. Therefore, a thorough assessment and a multidisciplinary approach is required to effectively manage the symptoms and improve the quality of life for those with mental illnesses.

ADHD In Children

It is important to seek the help of a healthcare professional, such as a pediatrician, to evaluate a child who is showing signs of ADHD, to confirm a diagnosis and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

therapist evaluating a child with ADHD

What Does ADHD Look Like In Children?

The symptoms of ADHD in children can include difficulty paying attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Specifically, a child with ADHD may:

  • Have trouble focusing on a task or paying attention to details
  • Appear not to be listening when spoken to directly
  • Have difficulty following instructions or finishing tasks
  • Have trouble sitting still, fidgeting, or squirming in their seat
  • Have difficulty playing quietly or engaging in calm activities
  • Talk excessively
  • Interrupt or intrude on others
  • Have difficulty waiting for their turn
  • Act impulsively without thinking about the consequences

All children may display some of these behaviors at times, and they are a normal part of childhood development. However, in children with ADHD, these behaviors occur more frequently and severely than in other children of the same age. The symptoms will usually be persistent and impair the child's ability to function in their daily life.

Is ADHD Real Or Is It Just Kids Being Active?

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a real and recognized neurodevelopmental disorder. It is characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.

ADHD is a highly researched and well-documented disorder, and there is a wealth of scientific evidence supporting its existence and the validity of its diagnostic criteria. Studies have shown that ADHD is associated with structural and functional differences in specific regions of the brain, and that it has a strong genetic component.

It's important to note that just because a child is active, it doesn't mean they have ADHD. All children have energy and can be active at different levels, and that is normal. However, when a child's hyperactivity and impulsivity are severe, persistent, and impair the child's ability to function in their daily life, it could be a sign of ADHD.

It is important to seek the help of a healthcare professional, such as a pediatrician, to evaluate a child who is showing signs of ADHD, to confirm a diagnosis and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

child holding ADHD sign

ADHD In Adults

The criteria used to diagnose ADHD in children may not fully capture the symptoms that are present in adults. This often leads to under-diagnosis of ADHD in adults. However, ADHD is a life long disorder. Even though children may "out grow" some symptoms it never fully goes away. 

Man dragging a clock through the city symbolizing Time management

How Does ADHD Affect Adults?

ADHD can have a significant impact on adults in many areas of their lives. Some of the ways ADHD can affect adults include:

  • Difficulty with time management and organization: Adults with ADHD may have trouble completing tasks, keeping track of appointments and deadlines, and staying on top of responsibilities at home and work. They may also have trouble planning and prioritizing their time.

  • Difficulty with impulse control: Adults with ADHD may have trouble resisting impulses, such as interrupting others, blurting out inappropriate comments, or impulsive buying. They may also have difficulty regulating their emotions.

  • Difficulty with concentration and attention: Adults with ADHD may have trouble focusing and paying attention to tasks, both at home and at work. They may also have trouble following through on tasks and completing projects.

  • Difficulty with relationships: Adults with ADHD may have trouble with social interactions and relationships. They may have difficulty understanding social cues, and may struggle with impulsivity and emotional regulation in relationships.

  • Difficulty with work and career: Adults with ADHD may have trouble holding down a job, or may have difficulty with job performance. They may also have trouble with time management and organization in the workplace.

  • Difficulty with self-esteem and self-worth: Adults with ADHD may have trouble with self-esteem and self-worth as they may have difficulties in academic, work, and personal life.

It's important to note that while ADHD can have a significant impact on adults, proper diagnosis and treatment can help to alleviate symptoms and improve functioning in all areas of life. A combination of medication, behavioral therapy, and other interventions can help adults with ADHD manage their symptoms and lead successful and fulfilling lives.

Is There A Test For ADHD?

There is no single test that can diagnose ADHD. Instead, a diagnosis of ADHD is typically made by a healthcare professional, such as a pediatrician or a psychiatrist, based on a comprehensive evaluation. This evaluation typically includes:

  • A thorough medical history and physical examination
  • Interviews with the child and their parent or caregiver to gather information about symptoms, development, and behavior
  • Observations of the child's behavior in different settings
  • A review of the child's academic and behavioral history
  • The use of rating scales and checklists to assess the child's symptoms

It's important to note that ADHD is a complex disorder and it can be difficult to diagnose in some cases. A professional may use multiple sources of information such as teachers, parents and the child themselves to gather a complete picture of the child's functioning.

Diagnostic criteria for ADHD are established by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in the Diagn and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). The criteria require that symptoms must be persistent, impair the child's ability to function in their daily life and should not be explained by other disorders.

At The Crane Center we are trained and certified to diagnose and treat symptoms of ADHD. We have helped thousands of patients and have a track record of success. Call and schedule an appointment today.