Symptoms of Schizophrenia

The signs and symptoms of schizophrenia fall into three broad categories. For example, symptoms can be positive (psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations), negative (such as apathy and social withdrawal), or cognitive (such as memory problems). People who have schizophrenia often require medication to control their most troubling symptoms.

An Introduction to the Signs and Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia symptoms fall into three broad categories:
 
  • Positive schizophrenia symptoms are unusual thoughts or perceptions that include hallucinations, delusions, and disordered thinking.
     
  • Negative symptoms represent a loss or a decrease in the ability to initiate plans, speak, express emotion, or find pleasure in everyday life. These symptoms are harder to recognize as part of the disorder and can be mistaken for laziness or depression.
     
  • Cognitive symptoms (or cognitive deficits) are problems with attention, certain types of memory, and the executive functions that allow us to plan and organize. Cognitive deficits can also be difficult to recognize as part of the disorder, but are the most disabling in terms of leading a normal life.
     

Positive Schizophrenia Symptoms

Positive symptoms of the disorder are easy-to-spot behaviors not seen in healthy people and usually involve a loss of contact with reality.
 
These positive symptoms can include:
 
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Thought disorder
  • Disorders of movement.
     
Positive symptoms can come and go. Sometimes they are severe, and at other times, they may hardly be noticeable, depending on whether the individual is receiving treatment.
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Schizophrenia Information

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