Mild schizophrenia?

Just curious what would you all define as mild schizophrenia? Moderate? Severe? Are there different categorizations appropriate?

It’s recognized as a spectrum disorder, similarly to ASD (Autism), so, yes, there are a variety of experiences and functionalities. Categorizing would seem appropriate, except that I would argue that the level of suffering endured by an individual is not something that can be categorized in conjunction with the perceived severity of the disorder…

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I don’t like using the terms mild, moderate and severe for mental illness. I prefer a scale of low to high functioning.

This is because I am high functioning, which by diagnostic standards would put me as a mild case, but I suffer immensely from my symptoms and do not see my case as mild whatsoever. Tell anyone with mental illness their suffering is mild and see how that makes them feel.

Low functioning for schizophrenia I would categorize as has to live in an institution no insight whatsoever, average function is has some degree of insight but severely impaired functioning to where holding a job or living independently is difficult, high functioning is the ability to hold a job or live independently. These are far more objective and clear categories that do not belittle someone’s experience based on their functioning ability and outward appearance.


Thank you to both of you

Yeah I’m not a fan of mild. It’s still a disorder that fundamentally affects everything in your life and there’s no cure.

I agree with @Anna. It’s all about function. Even that is murky as has been discussed.

What is your diagnosis?

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I agree with @Anna. Mild would reduce the overall experience of having schizophrenia. I think the level of function as she said should be considered. I would consider myself a fairly high functioning schizophrenic in some areas of my life, in others i’m quite poorly functioning. My suffering, however, cannot be understated. Everyone’s experience is different.

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This makes some sense with regards to low functioning although I’m not sure that only those living in an institution should be the only ones considered low functioning. I would say the degree of being able to live independently whilst in the community is also a separating line between low ,average and high functioning .

Then there is the issue of defining functioning levels with and without support . For example with the support I am now getting I’m regarded as moderately high/moderate to high functioning , but was told I was quite a bit lower functioning when I wasn’t getting that help.

As it is I can live independently but need quite a lot of support to do so. As my care plan says the support is to enable me to be able to continue living independently. Previously I have been described as having " Limited ability to live independently in the community".

In terms of symptoms I would say they were mild in comparison to many others here, but social impairment is quite severe .

Of course how I come across here in a strongly verbal environment reflects poorly how well I function off line. The level of competency shown here is not that shown off line .

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I think we need to distinguish between the illness being mild in itself(it’s not) and a mild/less severe presentation of the illness in comparison to others.

I would say apart from socially my symptoms compared to many here are mild. However anything that means ,like me, you have never worked, and have a non existent social network outside of family, can not truly be called mild as an illness.

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I think a nurse in the mental hospital said it well. She essentially said, “you can accept that your sz is difficult while recognizing some have it harder.” That’s pretty common sense thinking right there. But I sometimes downplay my own illness when comparing to others.

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I just posted about this the other day

it probably got pushed down and you didn’t see it

unless your’e not reading the forum

For me it’s hard to separate the effects of mental illness from possible comorbid issues such as ASD,dyspraxia, learning difficulties and NVLD with regards to how difficult things are , and whether I necessarily have it easier than others.

I can’t tell if I have Mild or Severe… I’m rarely delusional and always coherent, but I have hellish episodes like you wouldn’t believe. I guess I’m more episodic but categorizing it is difficult.

You have reduced me to tears, my friend. I thought we were pals…

I was talking of a social network as in face to face interaction. I do have a few good people I interact with online, off forums, such as yourself . My social network offline is non existent. My social network online is very small but it’s there.

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Yes, exactly, @Anna. I am high functioning as well, but no one can tell me I haven’t suffered tremendously…
I’m not so high functioning that I was able to attain in life what I should have. Just high enough to accomplish the basics…

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I have the same “episodicness”.

I had episodes so intense that it would even shock the psychiatric nurses. But it often cleared up with haldol, except for the depression.

In between episodes I have long periods I’m happy and coherent and “normal passing”, even without meds at times (which I do use now to prevent the bad episodes).

No clue if I’m mild, moderate or severe and I guess people would answer that differently depending on the time they met me. In my bad period they labeled me schizophrenia. In my good period they cleared that diagnosis because I was too coherent. “Mild” wouldnt do justice to the horror-periods, but “severe” wouldnt do justice to the times I’m happy and healthy. I think I’d rather avoid the diagnosis of schizophrenia alltogether.

I guess my case would be called mild since I am high functioning. It doesn’t feel mild when in the grip of an episode.

I had a very severe case for 33 years. Now, I have a very mild case for the past two years. All thanks to good medical treatment and self care.

I am moderate functioning because I am coherent, and live independently with the help of a whole lot of government support. So, I guess I would be a mild/moderate case.

Yeah and just because you can hold a job and live on your own doesn’t mean you aren’t marked by some level of disability, which again to you does not feel mild just like it doesn’t feel mild to me.


There is how we subjectively feel , and how we objectively compare to others on a spectrum. The former is a constant thing. The latter is something many will only think about in any depth when a thread like this crops up.

Pain be it mental or physical is a personal thing. No one else can know exactly how deep your pain is or feel the pain you feel.

How well you cope with that, and function , is down to a myriad of factors that don’t diminish your subjective sense of how mild or severe it is.