Residual Schizophrenia Side Effects, Signs, & Treatment Options

Residual schizophrenia is one of the five kinds of schizophrenia. Learn more about the symptoms and signs of schizophrenia and effective treatment options.

What Is Residual Schizophrenia? Residual Schizophrenia Definition

One of the five subtypes of schizophrenia is residual schizophrenia. The positive symptoms of schizophrenia, such as delusions, hallucinations, or chaotic behavior, are not currently present in people with residual schizophrenia.

They yet continue to suffer the negative symptoms of schizophrenia, such as social withdrawal, dull effect, or difficulties paying attention, combined with a milder version of one or two of these symptoms, such as unusual perceptions or skewed thinking.

The following article will first define schizophrenia before discussing the symptoms, underlying factors, and available treatments for the condition. It will also cover coping mechanisms for both those who have schizophrenia and those who care about them.

What Is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a long-term mental condition characterized by difficulty distinguishing between one’s own delusions and reality.

Delusions, hallucinations, disordered speech, disordered or catatonic conduct, and negative symptoms including limited emotional expression and decreased motivation to engage in activities are all signs of schizophrenia.

People with schizophrenia frequently struggle to continue functioning at the same level as they did before the onset of their symptoms in domains including job, interpersonal connections, and self-care.

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Schizophrenia Fact Sheet

Schizophrenia Overview

A condition that impairs a person’s capacity for clear thought, feeling, and behavior.
Although the precise origin of schizophrenia is unknown, it is thought that a mix of genetics, environment and altered brain chemistry and structure may be at play.

Schizophrenia is characterized by disorganized speech or behavior, depressed participation in daily tasks, and ideas or experiences that appear disconnected from reality. Memory loss and attention problems could also be present.

Treatment is typically ongoing and frequently consists of a mix of prescription drugs, psychotherapy, and well-coordinated specialty care services.

Schizophrenia Symptoms

Schizophrenia is characterized by disorganized speech or behavior, depressed participation in daily tasks, and ideas or experiences that appear disconnected from reality. Memory loss and attention problems could also be present.

Schizophrenia Treatments

Treatment is typically ongoing and frequently consists of a mix of prescription drugs, psychotherapy, and well-coordinated specialty care services.

Schizophrenia Statistics

A mental disorder called schizophrenia is characterized by disturbances in thought, perception, emotional responsiveness, and social interactions. Although each person’s experience with schizophrenia is unique, the condition is typically chronic and can be both severe and incapacitating.


With the risk being highest in the early stages of the illness, an estimated 4.9% of people with schizophrenia commit suicide, a rate that is significantly higher than that of the general population.

Source: National Insitute Of Mental Health

24 Million

Around 24 million people, or 1 in 300 persons (0.32%), globally suffer from schizophrenia. Adults at this rate make up 1 in 222 individuals (0.45%). It does not occur as frequently as many other mental illnesses.

Source: World Health Organization


The great majority of people with schizophrenia do not currently have access to mental health services. An estimated 50% of patients in psychiatric hospitals have a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

Source: World Health Organization

Are There Degrees of Schizophrenia, or Are There Levels of Schizophrenia?

Types of Schizophrenia

Up until the most recent version of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the DSM-5, which was published in 2013, schizophrenia was divided into 5 subtypes, even when some people think there are only 3 types of schizophrenia:

  1. Paranoid Schizophrenia: People with paranoid schizophrenia experience at least one delusion or frequent auditory hallucinations.
  2. Disorganized Schizophrenia: The symptoms of disorganized schizophrenia include disorganized thought, disorganized speech, and flat affect.
  3. Catatonic Schizophrenia: In addition to other symptoms of schizophrenia, people with catatonic schizophrenia also experience catatonia, which may include unresponsiveness or restlessness.
  4. Residual Schizophrenia: In people with residual schizophrenia, symptoms of schizophrenia still exist but are weaker than in other subtypes.
  5. Undifferentiated Schizophrenia: If symptoms from more than one of the other subtypes of schizophrenia are present, but there aren’t enough to classify the individual in another subtype, they meet the criteria for undifferentiated schizophrenia.

Are there different levels of schizophrenia? These different levels of schizophrenia (schizophrenia cycles) were dropped from the DSM-5 in favor of utilizing a spectrum to categorize symptom severity due to the lack of clinical support for their use in treating patients and the instability among them as a result of schizophrenia’s unpredictable course.

Many mental health professionals still find the categories helpful in understanding the condition and choosing the most appropriate treatment for each patient, even though they are no longer used to diagnose schizophrenia.

Even though a person presently displays symptoms connected to one of the categories, it’s crucial to comprehend that these symptoms can alter swiftly and that there’s no such thing as low-level schizophrenia.

Symptoms of Residual Schizophrenia

residual schizophrenia
Residual Schizophrenia: People with residual schizophrenia (schizophrenia residual type) no longer experience the conspicuous symptoms that, during at least one episode in the past, altered their thoughts or perceptions (so-called positive symptoms).

Residual symptoms of schizophrenia are less severe than those of the other four subtypes of schizophrenia, which frequently exhibit symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, disordered speech, and catatonic conduct.

People with residual schizophrenia no longer experience the conspicuous symptoms that, during at least one episode in the past, altered their thoughts or perceptions (so-called positive symptoms). Because of this, this subtype’s symptoms are less severe.

People with residual schizophrenia (schizophrenia residual), on the other hand, only exhibit negative symptoms, such as a loss or reduction in social or emotional function or two or more moderate behavioral/cognitive abnormalities. Sometimes it’s hard to match the positive symptoms of schizophrenia with their descriptions, so here we listed them as simply as possible.

Residual schizophrenia symptoms (schizophrenia residual) may include:

  • Odd beliefs
  • Unusual perceptual experiences
  • Distorted thinking
  • Flat affect or diminished emotional expression
  • Lack of motivation to engage in purposeful activities (avolition)
  • The decreased pleasure from positive stimuli (anhedonia)
  • Diminished speech (alogia)
  • Lack of interest in social interaction (asociality)
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Residual Schizophrenia: Causes of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that is thought to be caused by a number of factors, including:

  • Genetics: Although genetics alone does not cause schizophrenia, having a parent, sibling, or another close relative who has the disease increases the likelihood of having it by nearly six times.
  • Environmental: Interactions with particular surroundings may enhance the incidence of schizophrenia in those with genetic risk factors. Stress can lead to schizophrenia, even though it is not the cause. Additionally, a person’s risk is increased if they have poor nutrition or are exposed to a virus before to birth.
  • Brain chemistry: According to research, the sizes of particular brain regions, the connections between them, and the interactions of neurotransmitters like dopamine in the brains of persons with schizophrenia are all different from those of people without the disorder.
  • Drug use: Cannabis and other mind-altering substances can raise the risk of schizophrenia in teenagers and young adults.

It is impossible to pinpoint the exact cause of schizophrenia in any one person because multiple factors may play a role in its onset.

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3 Stages of Psychosis

A person who is psychotic loses touch with reality and is unable to distinguish between it and their imagination. Significant changes in a person’s perspective, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors are its defining characteristics.

Any person can develop psychosis, and its symptoms can vary. The good news is that it takes time to grow and that each stage may last a varied amount of time. It doesn’t happen suddenly.

Among the three stages of psychosis are:

Stage 1: Prodromal stage

This is the first phase before the true psychosis symptom appears. Symptoms could be hazy and barely perceptible. There is a progressive alteration in the person’s ideas, perceptions, actions, and functioning before the real psychotic symptoms appear.

The person may experience generalized personality changes at this stage but no overt psychotic signs. Typical symptoms seen during this stage include the following:

residual schizophrenia
Any person can develop psychosis, and its symptoms can vary.
  • Suspiciousness
  • Unexplained difficulty at/skipping school or work
  • Deterioration in functioning
  • Odd beliefs/magical thinking
  • Decreased motivation
  • Social withdrawal
  • The feeling of being controlled by some forces
  • Talking to one’s self
  • Easily overstimulated
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Depressed mood
  • Irritability
  • Problem with screening out confusing information and sensations
  • Poor concentration and interpreting ability
  • Unusual changes in perceptual experiences (visual experiences may become brighter or sounds louder)
  • Feeling overburdened 
  • Unable to track one’s thoughts and decipher what others are saying
  • Feeling disconnected
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Doing things that make no sense or logic
  • Inability to cry or excessive crying
  • Inability to express joy
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Excessive bizarre writing that is difficult to comprehend
  • Staring without blinking or blinking continuously
  • Strange gestures or postures

This stage could endure for a few months, years, or even longer. Before psychosis has taken hold, the prodrome period cannot be diagnosed. These symptoms do not necessarily mean that you are in the prodromal stage of psychosis. These alterations may be mistaken for the beginning of psychosis because they are frequent in adolescents. For a precise diagnosis, one must thus speak with a mental health expert.

Stage 2: Acute Stage

The genuine psychotic symptoms manifest at this phase. During this phase, psychotic symptoms including hallucinations, delusions, or distorted thinking start to appear. Symptoms may cause a person great distress. They could display peculiar conduct that makes their family members worry.

The hallmarks of hallucinations include hearing, experiencing, and/or seeing things that are not consistent with reality. Hallucinations can take various forms, for instance:

  • Hearing strange voices
  • Visualizing things that don’t exist
  • Experiencing a funny taste in the mouth
  • Feeling sensations on the skin although nothing is touching their body
  • Smell odors

Delusions are false beliefs that someone may tenaciously cling to even after realizing they are untrue. For instance, even if someone proves that the food is edible if a person believes that their meal is poisoned, they will be certain that the food is poisoned.

Stage 3: Recovery

This phase begins when the person seeks timely medical intervention.

  • If the treatment turns out to be effective, most people will completely recover from the symptoms of psychosis and never experience another episode.
  • During the initial phase, some may experience acute stage symptoms lingering for some time, but they recover and return to their normal lives.

It is vital to identify and treat psychosis at its initial stage to prevent them from being a threat to society. Delay in treatment may lead to incomplete recovery.

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3 Phases Of Schizophrenia

There are 3 stages of schizophrenia: prodromal, active, and residual phase of schizophrenia. Non-specific symptoms including lack of motivation, social isolation, and difficulties concentrating make up the prodromal stage. Not all prodromal signs are immediately apparent. Because of this, identifying schizophrenia at this time can be very challenging.

Hallucinations and delusions are among the obvious psychotic signs of active schizophrenia. At this point, people need rapid medical care. It is possible to lessen the severity and frequency of psychotic episodes with timely diagnosis and treatment.

Although the residual stage is no longer accepted as a diagnostic criterion, it nonetheless contributes to the understanding of how schizophrenia develops. Hallucinations, delusions, and disordered thinking are either minimal or nonexistent in the residual stage. A person may still be suffering prodromal-stage symptoms.

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Residual Schizophrenia Treatment

Schizophrenia typically first manifests in early adulthood and has no known treatment. Treatment is therefore required to guarantee that individuals can manage the illness. Therapy and antipsychotic medicines are examples of these treatments.

Antipsychotic Drugs

Antipsychotic drugs lessen the severity and duration of schizophrenia symptoms and are often taken as a daily pill or liquid. They could, however, cause unwanted side effects like weight gain and tiredness. Even though antipsychotic drugs have side effects, once someone starts taking them, they shouldn’t stop because doing so could make their symptoms worse.


For patients with schizophrenia, cognitive-behavioral therapy is one available kind of treatment.

Another choice is assertive community treatment. People with schizophrenia who are at high risk of homelessness and institutionalization can benefit from assertive community treatment. It also involves regular interactions with patients.

We Level Up Dual Diagnosis Treatment

The exact definition of dual diagnosis (also referred to as co-occurring disorders) can differ between institutions.  However, it is generally described as the specific treatment of someone who has been diagnosed with a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder at the same time.

Treating dual-diagnosis clients is a critical aspect of our inpatient treatment experience because co-occurring disorders are strongly correlated with instances of substance abuse. Creating a treatment plan that addresses the physical aspects of withdrawal, the psychological connection with drug use, and managing underlying mental health disorders is part of setting clients up for success. A thorough mental health analysis identifies possibilities for treatment.  Meeting with mental health counselors and medical care providers means access to behavioral therapy and medication treatment.

At our dual diagnosis treatment center, We Level Up can implement the highest quality of care. We recognize the fragile complexities of how mental and substance abuse disorders can influence others and sometimes result in a vicious cycle of addiction.  That’s why we offer specialized treatment in dual-diagnosis cases to provide the most excellent chance of true healing and long-lasting recovery.

It can be challenging to accept that you may be living with a mental illness, but once it is properly diagnosed and treated, treating the presenting case of substance abuse can be magnitudes easier. Only a properly trained medical professional can diagnose these underlying conditions.  If you believe you are suffering from a disorder alongside addiction, we urge you to seek a qualified treatment center to begin your journey to recovery. Call We Level Up today.

Search We Level Up FL Residual Schizophrenia & Resources

[1] About Mental Health – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
[2] Mental Health Treatment Among Adults Aged 18–44: United States, 2019–2021 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
[3] Mental and Behavioral Health – African Americans – Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health
[4] Men’s Mental Health Presentation –
[5] Dal Santo T, Sun Y, Wu Y, He C, Wang Y, Jiang X, Li K, Bonardi O, Krishnan A, Boruff JT, Rice DB, Markham S, Levis B, Azar M, Neupane D, Tasleem A, Yao A, Thombs-Vite I, Agic B, Fahim C, Martin MS, Sockalingam S, Turecki G, Benedetti A, Thombs BD.