This subtype is diagnosed when a person with schizophrenia has gone for an extended period of time without any symptoms. In other words, the patient has been in remission and symptom free for up to a full year (12 months). In cases of residual schizophrenia, the symptoms may be completely non-existent or have lessened in severity to the point that they do not interfere with the daily functioning of the individual.
A person with residual schizophrenia may still have hallucinations, delusions, or other unusual behaviors, but they do not have as profound of affect as they did when the patient was initially diagnosed. A person with any given subtype can be diagnosed as having “residual” schizophrenia as long as they are symptom-free or have low-grade symptoms for an extended period of time.
With the residual subtype, some people feel completely recovered from their condition once it is properly treated. In order to make sure that the symptoms stay in remission, it is important to make sure that the individual continues treatment, therapy, and makes healthy lifestyle choices. Most people experience a relapse of symptoms every once in awhile. This subtype is characterized by a “waxing” and “waning” of schizophrenic symptoms.
During the “waxing” phase, symptoms increase in intensity, and during the “waning” phase, they decrease and may become non-existent. Most people will have some hospitalizations with this subtype, but their overall prognosis with this subtype is pretty good. Individuals with the residual type can be productive members of society while their illness is in the “waning” phase.
- Absence of symptoms for a period of time
- At least one episode of psychosis
- Waxing and waning of symptoms
A. Absence of prominent delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, and grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior.
B. There is continuing evidence of the disturbance, as indicated by the presence of negative symptoms or two or more symptoms listed in Criterion A for Schizophrenia, present in an attenuated form (e.g., odd beliefs, unusual perceptual experiences).