Schizophrenia Home > Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Disorders of Movement
People with schizophrenia can be clumsy and uncoordinated. They may also show involuntary movements, grimacing, or unusual mannerisms. They may repeat certain motions over and over or, in extreme cases, may become catatonic. Catatonia is a state of immobility and unresponsiveness that was more common when treatment for schizophrenia was not available. Fortunately, catatonia is now rare.

Negative Symptoms

The term "negative symptoms" refers to reductions in normal emotional and behavioral states. These negative symptoms of schizophrenia include:
  • Flat affect (immobile facial expression, monotonous voice)
  • Lack of pleasure in everyday life
  • Diminished ability to initiate and sustain planned activity
  • Speaking infrequently, even when forced to interact.
People with schizophrenia symptoms often neglect basic hygiene and need help with everyday living activities. Because it is not as obvious that negative symptoms are part of a psychiatric illness, people with schizophrenia are often perceived by others as lazy and not willing to better their lives.

Cognitive Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Cognitive symptoms of the disorder are subtle and are often detected only when neuropsychological tests are performed. They include:
  • Poor executive functioning (the ability to absorb and interpret information and make decisions based on that information)
  • Inability to stay focused
  • Problems with working memory (the ability to keep recently learned information in mind and use it right away).
Cognitive impairments often interfere with the patient's ability to lead a normal life and earn a living, and can cause great emotional distress.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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