Signs & Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a serious mental health disorder that affects how people think, feel, and behave.  This disorder also affects how the individual perceives reality.  As a result, Schizophrenia can have a serious impact on the individual’s ability to interpret reality and interact with society. Individuals with schizophrenia tend to require treatment throughout their life.  Complications and breaks from reality can complicate the disorder and make it difficult to treat.  Therefore, early treatment generally leads to better outcomes.  

Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia involves a variety of problems, and symptoms vary from person to person.  The following is a list of symptoms, although keep in mind that not all people with Schizophrenia will have all of these symptoms.

·       Symptoms of SchizophreniaDelusions. These are false beliefs that are not based in reality, and they are generally resistant to evidence that would disprove the belief.

·       Hallucinations. These usually involve seeing or hearing things that don’t exist. However, an individual with schizophrenia perceives these things as part of their normal experience.

·       Disorganized thinking (speech). Disorganized thinking is inferred from disorganized speech. Communication is impaired and the person will struggle to communicate in a logical or linear manner, and answers to questions may become tangential, circumstantial, or disorganized.

·       Extremely disorganized or abnormal motor behavior. Behavior is not focused on accomplishing a goal.  The person struggles to complete tasks and organize their behavior to accomplish things.  The person may also show unpredictable agitation, childlike silliness, resistance to instructions, and abnormal motor movements such as bizarre postures and/or useless and excessive movement.

·       Negative symptoms. This refers to reduced or lack of ability to function normally. The person may experience a lack of pleasure, reduced speech or lack of speech completely, flattened emotional state, social withdrawal, and difficulty taking care of themselves.

Symptoms of Schizophrenia can vary in type and severity over time, and there may be periods of time when symptoms become worse, and periods of time when symptoms are in remission. Some symptoms of the disorder may always be present.

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