What is Disorganized Schizophrenia and How to Tackle It?


Schizophrenia is a mental disorder affecting 1% of the world’s population. It is a lifelong disorder leading to severe functioning impairments. Formerly, there were many subtypes of Schizophrenia. However, these subtypes were not a part in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). The reason was that they did not prove helpful in treating the disorder. Moreover, the five subtypes included paranoid, undifferentiated, catatonic, disorganized, and residual. Despite updating it, disorganized schizophrenia, or hebephrenic schizophrenia remains intact. To be more precise, this type of schizophrenia refers to the disorganization or disturbance in thought processes, emotions, and behavior.

This comprehensive guide will guide you through this mental disorder and how to tackle this disease. Let’s get started.

Understanding Disorganized Schizophrenia or Hebephrenic Schizophrenia

Are you suffering from complex mental disorders affecting your emotions, thoughts, and behavior? You may be potentially suffering from schizophrenia. Within the spectrum of schizophrenia, one specific subtype is disorganized schizophrenia or hebephrenic schizophrenia, or hebephrenia.

As the name suggests, the symptoms of this disorder include disorganized thinking, speech patterns, and behaviors. People with this subtype often struggle with logical thinking, have difficulty organizing their thoughts, and exhibit inappropriate emotional responses. Moreover, they may display unusual or bizarre behaviors and have difficulty completing tasks or maintaining personal hygiene. These symptoms can severely impact their daily functioning and social interactions.

Some symptoms that may be categorized as ‘disorganized’ are:

So you want to know more about mental disorders? Read our blog on ten rare mental disorders, their symptoms, and treatment.

Disorganized Schizophrenia - Symptoms

Wonder; if you are suffering from this mental ailment. How will you evaluate whether you should visit a doctor or not? Simply by looking at the prevalent symptoms of hebephrenia. You should at least have two or more symptoms to get treated as a disordered schizophrenia patient. Here’s a list of symptoms to detect this mental disorder:

If you are a clinician, you need to confirm these aspects before naming it disorganized schizophrenia:

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Disorganized Schizophrenia- Diagnosis

The diagnosis of disorganized schizophrenia involves a thorough series of medical assessments to eliminate other potential causes or factors contributing to the individual’s symptoms. It includes a physical examination, blood tests, thyroid evaluation, and assessment of drug or alcohol use. Moreover, the medical lab technician deploys magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); and CT scans to check for brain abnormalities or lesions.

Furthermore, a psychiatric evaluation may assess the patient’s thoughts, emotions, behavioral patterns, family history, and other relevant background information, indicating symptoms suggestive of schizophrenia.

The diagnosis follows the criteria outlined in the DSM-5. An individual must exhibit two or more of the following symptoms (with at least one from the first three) for a significant duration of time over a one-month period to be diagnosed with schizophrenia:

Based on this diagnosis, the physician may recommend a specified treatment option. Mental disorders, like hebephrenic schizophrenia, require at least two or more symptoms and a time period of a month or several months to mark it as a disorder. If you get affected by some symptoms, it is not necessary that you have schizophrenia. Therefore, the physician must look at the persistent symptoms and prescribe treatment accordingly.

How to Treat Hebephrenia?

Early treatment is the key to making a recovery. The treatment for disorganized schizophrenia encompasses a multimode approach:

Medication Management in Hebephrenia

This approach includes medications for the reduction of delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, and disordered thinking. The physician will conduct a detailed analysis of the patient’s condition and prescribe the medication accordingly.


In order to reduce certain symptoms, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is recommended. This therapy aids the patients in identifying the potential target problem and developing coping strategies to surpass those issues.

Electro-Convulsive Therapy

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a treatment method that involves passing an electrical current through the brain to induce a seizure and release neurochemicals. Additionally, this approach may be beneficial for individuals who are at risk of suicide, experiencing severe depression, or have symptoms that are resistant to other treatments.

Life Skills Training

Managing life skills will assist individuals with disorganized schizophrenia to enhance social interactions and improve daily living skills. In turn, it aids in increasing independence.

Supported Employment Services

You can manage the disordered state of mind by finding employment. Employment opportunities assist hebephrenic schizophrenia patients in finding relief and support and, in turn, assist in coping with the disorder.

Family Education and Support for Hebephrenia Patients

Family support greatly matters when dealing with such disorders. When you know your family is standing behind you, you feel a sense of relief and enthusiasm. However, this step needs in-depth family training as well. Families should know how to deal with these situations, what to do, and what not to do in providing relief to such patients.

Coordinated Specialty Care

A comprehensive treatment approach called coordinated specialty care (CSC), utilizing a recovery-oriented model team approach, has been shown to be effective in treating the initial episode of psychosis during the early stages of schizophrenia. This approach incorporates various components such as psychotherapy, medication management, case management, support for employment and education, as well as family resources.

Detecting the signs of disorganized schizophrenia, which typically show at a younger age, can be challenging. The symptoms associated with this subtype tend to develop slowly and rarely diminish over time. However, with appropriate and continuous treatment, the outlook for individuals with this disorder can improve.

Additionally, assistance in developing daily living skills, pursuing education, accessing employment services, and receiving support from family members are vital factors in enhancing the progression of the condition for individuals diagnosed with disorganized schizophrenia.

Complications Associated with Hebephrenia

Mental disorders carry a weightage of complications with them. Similar is the case with schizophrenia. Therefore, the associated symptoms include:

The biggest dilemma is that people believe they can treat the condition on their own. Moreover, they believe they can stop medication on their own once the symptoms start to diminish.

Additionally, for those coping with schizophrenia, follow the advice of your physician. For those living with these patients, support them and ensure that they get timely medication and treatment. Moreover, you should be aware of the signs and symptoms of the disease to help assist your members timely.

Disordered schizophrenia is a life-long sustaining condition and requires optimal medications and treatment. The symptoms may return soon. Additionally, smoking is a contributing factor in mental disorders. It boosts anxiety. Therefore, you should quit smoking. Else, you can switch to vaping to help manage the condition well.

Future Directions and Promising Research

Advancements in research are continually improving our understanding of disorganized schizophrenia. Moreover, scientists are exploring the underlying causes, including genetic and neurobiological factors, to develop more targeted interventions. Promising areas of research include the identification of potential biomarkers for early detection, personalized treatment approaches, and interventions that focus on cognitive impairments associated with the disorder.


To conclude, schizophrenia is a mental disorder that disturbs thought processes and emotions of a person. One subtype of this disease is disorganized schizophrenia. It is a disorganization or disturbance in thought processes, emotions, and behavior. Furthermore, this blog guides you through the significant aspects of the disorder. If, you feel any of the above symptoms, Saad MD is here to assist you. Book our telemedicine appointment and get treated from the comfort of your home. Moreover, you can visit us in person at any of our branches in Dearborn, Royal Oak, or Sterling Heights.