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Hebephrenic schizophrenia
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 F20.1
ICD-9 295.1
MeSH D012562

Disorganized schizophrenia, also known as hebephrenia is a subtype of schizophrenia as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-IV code 295.10[1].

Disorganized schizophrenia is thought to be an extreme expression of the 'disorganization syndrome' that has been hypothesised to be one aspect of a three-factor model of symptoms in schizophrenia[2] The other factors being 'reality distortion' (involving delusions and hallucinations) and 'psychomotor poverty' (poverty of speech, lack of spontaneous movement and various aspects of blunting of emotion).



This type is characterized by prominent disorganized behavior and speech (see formal thought disorder) including schizophasia, and flat or inappropriate emotion and affect. The criteria for the catatonic subtype of schizophrenia must not have been met as well. This type of schizophrenia is also known as hebephrenia, and is named after the Greek goddess of youth, Hebe, in reference to the typical age of onset in puberty[3].

Unlike the paranoid subtype of schizophrenia, delusions and hallucinations are not the most prominent feature[4][5], although fragmentary delusions and hallucinations may be present.

The emotional responses of people diagnosed with this subtype can often seem strange or inappropriate to the situation. Inappropriate facial responses may be common and behavior is sometimes described as 'silly', such as inappropriate laughter. Complete lack of expressed emotion is sometimes seen, as is an apparent indifference, anhedonia (the lack of pleasure), and avolition (a lack of motivation). Some of these features are also present in other types of schizophrenia, but they are most prominent in Disorganized Schizophrenia.


This form of schizophrenia is typically associated with early onset (often between the ages of 15 and 25 years) and is thought to have a poor prognosis because of the rapid development of 'negative' symptoms and decline in social functioning.[6]

Use of electroconvulsive therapy has been proposed.[7]

See also


  1. ^ Schizophrenia DSM
  2. ^ Liddle PF. (1987) The symptoms of chronic schizophrenia. A re-examination of the positive-negative dichotomy. British Journal of Psychiatry, 151, 145-51.
  3. ^ Greek mythology and medical and psychiatric terminology, Loukas Athanasiadis, Psychiatric Bulletin (1997)
  4. ^ How Schizophrenia is diagnosed
  5. ^ Hebephrenic Schizophrenia Diagnostic Criteria
  6. ^ McGlashan TH, Fenton WS (1993) Subtype progression and pathophysiologic deterioration in early schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 19 (1), 71-84.
  7. ^ Shimizu E, Imai M, Fujisaki M, et al. (March 2007). "Maintenance electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for treatment-resistant disorganized schizophrenia". Prog. Neuropsychopharmacol. Biol. Psychiatry 31 (2): 571–3. doi:10.1016/j.pnpbp.2006.11.014. PMID 17187911.  


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