Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

A quick question - Disorganized / Undifferentiated Diagnoses?


#1

On this site I see a lot of people who have been diagnosed Paranoid Sz.

Please forgive me if this question seems a bit blunt. I was wondering how many Disorganized Sz diagnoses or maybe Undifferentiated Sz diagnosis might be contributing to the forum.

I keep reading that Disorganized Sz has a worse prognosis then Paranoid Sz. My brother has a large dose of disorganized mixed in with the paranoid. I was hoping to just get some new ideas on how to help the disorganized thought process.

I want to make the day easier for my brother to get through. I think I can handle the paranoia spikes fairly Ok. I do need back up sometimes, but it’s not unmanageable. He works his butt off to take care of himself and keep self manage.

Disorganized thinking is harder on my brother because not only does it make task more difficult for him, it also kicks a large dent in his self confidence.

Thank you for any ideas.

Dim lighthouse


#2

Before they changed my diagnosis to Paranoid Schizophrenia, I was put down as having Psychosis along with Formal Thought Disorder. I can’t exactly speak for your brother’s case, but in my own case I honestly thought I was making sense. It wasn’t until my therapist pointed it out to me that I knew that I was speaking incoherently. I would speak in fragmented sentences, stop midsentence and use abstract concepts to say the simplest things.

We would practice conversations sometimes, and that really helped me out. I would also rehearse talking in my room sometimes when I had some time to myself. Maybe you could help your brother out through conversation. Talking about practical things works well. I’ll try to think some other things that can work.


#3

My diagnosis is Chronic Undifferentiated. Been this way for years -


#4

My diagnosis is paranoid schizophrenia and yes, I have read in multiple places that people with my diagnosis have a better prognosis then people with other types of schizophrenia. I have read that we do better vocationally and better at living independently. That’s why I was always so impressed that James has accomplished so much. But we are not our diagnosis. It helps that he has a good sense of humor. I hope you get the answers you need.


#5

As you know my son is diagnosed paranoid sz. He is only paranoid when high or in active or going into active psychosis. If a pdoc could have seen him yesterday morning it would probably be disorganized. Sometimes it seems that from site to site or doctor to doctor you get varied opinions on what is the easiest or hardest to treat. For example I have heard of so many different types of cancer being the easiest to treat… I think it depends on the individual.

I sometimes think if some could come hang out with my hubby for a day or two they would probably feel less self-conscious about disorganized thinking. My hubby can be pretty hard to follow/understand. He rarely says what he is trying to say.

Don’t dim your light…


#6

My son has very disorganized thinking. He rarely speaks in a plain sentence, and sentences are often interrupted or abandoned. Most of the time he starts a sentence as if he is halfway into a conversation, so the listener doesn’t know what the topic is. He has significant delusions of grandeur, which makes socializing difficult since he thinks he is better than most people, but which also lead to paranoia as he thinks the military and aliens are interested in him because of his inventions and theories. It is an interesting mix, that’s for sure, and ends up leaving him isolated much of the time.

He wants to return to school, but I feel it will not be productive unless his thinking becomes more clear and his delusions decrease. It makes me sad to have to tell him he is not ready for it. He doesn’t have much insight into his illness.

I have been wondering lately, if, as the delusions decrease, will this be difficult for him if he comes to realize he is not as “important” as he has thought he is? Do people who lose delusions tend toward depression when they realize the “reality” of their lives?


#7

I have sometimes wondered this myself. So I do my best to tell my son that he is special to a lot of people. I don’t think being a telepathic makes someone special but the impact you make on someone’s life in the form of friend or parent etc. I may not be a shaman or anything else that he would consider to be important but I am important and special to a couple of people and that is worth so much more.


#8

I did. I got very confused with myself and depressed.

I don’t talk much about this phase of my life. But yes, when I got stable and got out of my head, there was a swing between “What was I thinking?” and “Wait, I’m NOT as good as Gandhi?”

It was hard to adjust to the “ordinary” life outside my head. It really depressed me when all this faded and I realized that I was not healing anyone. I was not a Zen Master. I was just a gardner who was talking nonsense.

I try and be patient, kind and peaceful and a good person anyway. But now I’m motivated by wanting to be a good person because we were raised by our parents to try and be kind and patient people. I’m not doing this because of a delusion of healing the planet with my mere zen presence. It was a very confusing time for me.


#9

I do worry about that aspect of recovery. It seems this disease has the potential in messing with people’s lives even as they begin to recover.

I am so glad to know that you met it and dealt with it, and overcame those new feelings, and hope for the same for my son. He is certain that he has had a huge impact on the world thru his scientific theories.


#10

Schizo-affective they call it now.

In other words emotionally possessed by whoever.


#11

I was diagnosed with disorganized schizophrenia. Once I unbeliefed the main delusions that controlled my life, it was like I was set free and my thoughts toned into reality.


#12

I was first diagnosed with undifferentiated sz then paranoid sz. But now it seems to be residual sz. I think people can become depressed once their delusions go, when I have voices then Im not depressed, but when they go I get confused and wonder if I was really sick in the first place, which makes me depressed. I don’t know… I can’t think straight now but the light was shining dimly.

Love the lighthouse!!! I’m crazy about them, I love their symbolism.


#13

I also love lighthouses. Sometimes they are guidance. Sometimes they are a warning, sometimes they are lonely and steadfast.

Sometimes they are the strength in a turbulent ocean and sometimes they are the bright welcome home in a calm sea.

So much can be attached to one thing. I know, it’s really just concrete and stone with a light at the top. But I’m very much a romantic as well as an optimist.

Thank you.

Do you have a favorite thing about lighthouses?


#14

Their light on a dark stormy night


#15

I have classic stereotypical paranoid schizophrenia. I am remarkably organized, I just have a case of extreme positive symptoms and low negative symptoms. I used to sometimes be a little disorganized, but I mostly attribute it to being distracted by hallucinations and delusions, if I was speaking one-on-one with a doctor, I sounded more than sane, I was eloquent, articulate and intelligent in conversations. The thing is, when they asked me what I was hearing or thinking at the moment, it was very NOT sane.

Disorganization is sort of a dead end. Some of the newer drugs do something for it, but it’s something to live with and cope with, not something to expect to go away. I know that doesn’t sound optimistic, but with your help he seems to do remarkably well for someone with disorganization.

Disorganized is worse. It’s maybe THE worst, because catanoic people are just hopeless, to be perfectly honest. (they’re basically in a living coma, they’re beyond repair)

But this doesn’t mean that James can’t live a decent life- he already is fighting his schizophrenia and is doing well despite it. Disorganized patients need support, first of all, and they need insight. Insight will help preserve his ego. Once a person who has schizophrenia stops feeling guilty for having schizophrenia or what I often call “being schizophrenic” (i.e. behaving under the influence of symptoms, don’t take it personally, I would still be there if my meds didnt work like magic), they can be more at peace with themselves.

Just don’t try too hard to fake normal. I’m not normal, I don’t pretend to be. When I make new friends, I tell them after a while about my condition, I usually tell them right off the bat if they are fellow psych majors (they understand that recovery is possible, especially with medication adherence).

I will have to get a doctors note from my psychiatrist explaining my condition to the powerlifting team coach when I join my gym’s team this summer (explaining that I am on medications and have the handicap of being on multiple classes of tranquilizers). I am still pretty strong, I just can’t push myself quite as hard as a healthy person can, and that needs to be addressed.

I have had to explain to professors about my condition to excuse absences or sleeping in class. Only one asked for a note, and she gave me an extension when I brought a note to her. The other professors were psych profs and actually congratulated me for being one of the top students in the class despite being mentally ill. I gave one a note anyways even though he took my word, I had been napping through his class for a month but when I was awake I spoke up and nailed hard questions he asked the class.


#16

Mortimer - you impress me! My son is still not lucid much of the time, but has the goal of returning to school - however he is very distraught about the idea of professors knowing where he is living (a residential care facility) and that he has a mental illness. He insists that there is NO WAY he could possibly be taken seriously by a professor if s/he were to know where he lives. I wish I could get my son talking with some of you guys to help him see that his best hope is to acknowledge his illness and then work with people to live a full life regardless of it.


#17

The psychology professors will understand and even support him. Maybe he should be a psych major. My professors know and understand my condition and are happy to have me in the room, I’m sort of “that guy” in the honors psych department. I make A’s and am friendly, and I often clear the air about misconceptions about schizophrenia, and everyone in the room knows what paranoid schizophrenia is, how it is treated, and how to life a good life despite having it.

Medication is the number one priority and always will be. Do NOT LET anyone tell you otherwise. I am recovered, so take it from me, first insight and then medication adherence, then for me is higher education about myself, essentially. I am a textbook case. I’ve read chapters and even whole books about my condition and I used fit nicely into a category (stereotypical madman to be honest, paranoid, psychotic, angry and usually drunk, more formally a dual-diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia and alcoholism) and now I fit nicely into the 20% who fully recover, but I take my meds every single day, beyond religiously, (I am an atheist lol) I like to say “scientifically”. My meds must be taken multiple times a day with food, and I never EVER miss a dose of any of my three medications. I know how my drugs work, I have taken classes which mentioned antipsychotics among all other drugs (I also know useless stuff like how cocaine and love are very similar)

He should do what he can. If school is possible, if he has his symptoms under control, or not maybe, he can and should not let anything stop him from bettering himself with a higher education. Living in a care facility doesnt matter, I think that colleges dont disclose personal information to professors, but like I said, a psychology professor will just be impressed and probably ask him lots of questions “If he has a minute and doesn’t mind”, LOL. My professors sometimes ask me questions about my condition just out of curiosity. They remark that I seem very healthy and they would have never in a million years guessed that I had schizophrenia.

He doesn’t need to be lucid to go to school. Schizophrenia struck me right before I started college and I refused medication for my first year (side effects are very serious, it was a rational choice) and I made a 3.5 my first year, with 3 honors classes that year. I took two honors upper division neuroscience classes (my concentration is behavioral neuroscience) and made a B+ in both of them. This was while I was psychotic and drinking heavily every night. My classmates, who I am friends with now, say I seem like a completely different person. I didnt say anything, sat in the back against the wall and didnt talk to anyone during my first year. I still made the grades. I immediately got on meds after exams and quit drinking in a month.

Elyn Saks wrote a memoir about her life as an academic (she’s a genius) and a schizophrenic. She was very much of both. It’s inspiring and my favorite book as a college student (in the honors program with a 3.9 and a full scholarship, just not at a Oxford like Saks LOL) who has schizophrenia.


#18

I don’t consider that useless. If you met me 7 years ago you’d be meeting a schizophrenic who was also a coke and amphetamine addict. You would have to know what kept me going back to coke and get that detoxed and out of the circus before you could tackle the Sz.

Everyone wants love. If they can’t get love and coke is available, well…


#19

hahaha yeah I suppose when Im working some day (probably in a mental hospital or in a lab) I will use my knowledge of cocaine’s properties as a dopamine agonist. The shit basically quite literally fucks your synapses and makes neurons full of dopamine, sure as hell is as powerful as love!


#20

My alternate diagnosis + the description fits me too.