Exploring The Negative And Positive Symptoms Of Schizophrenia

Last Update on June 3, 2022 : Published on June 3, 2022

1 in every 300 people is affected by schizophrenia which makes approximately 24 million people schizophrenic. After the depression, schizophrenia is one of those severe mental health conditions that has affected most people world wide.

There is a lot of information about schizophrenia out there for you to read and understand this distorting mental health condition. But to understand schizophrenia completely you need to understand the symptoms of schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia is a condition which is capable of producing two kinds of symptoms. Schizophrenia has two different sets of symptoms known as the positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia.

Today we will be discussing the positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia in detail…

What Is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia, is a beautiful flaw of the mind. It is a severe mental health condition that affects your thoughts, actions, and feelings. This is a disorder that makes you comprehend reality differently or we can say abnormally.

Schizophrenia is characterized by symptoms like hallucination, delusions, disorganized thinking, etc. These symptoms stop you from leading a normal life, schizophrenia causes hindrance in completing regular tasks for the day and much more.

Also read: What Are The Different Types Of Schizophrenia?

Positive Symptoms Of Schizophrenia

Like I said before, Schizophrenia is a condition that exhibits two sets of symptoms. Let’s begin understanding schizophrenia by exploring the positive symptoms of schizophrenia first. Let’s look at the list of all the positive symptoms of schizophrenia.

Here you go;

1. Hallucinations:

it is very common for someone with schizophrenia to hallucinate. They can hear, see, feel or smell something that actually does not exist but according to a schizophrenic that’s very much there. Let’s look at the different types of hallucinations in schizophrenia

  • Auditory hallucinations: it’s when you hear sound, voices, dialogues, comments, etc. These sounds do not exist in reality therefore only people with schizophrenia can listen to them.
  • Visual hallucinations: it’s when you see things, people, objects, patterns, etc that do not really present there with you.
  • Tactile hallucinations: it’s when you feel a touch, it can feel like someone is holding you, something’s moving of you, anything that has a tactical feeling
  • Olfactory hallucinations: it’s when you can smell or taste things in your meal or elsewhere that really don’t exist.

2. Delusions:

delusions are having a strong belief in the presence of certain things like, someone is trying to kill you, which is obviously not true. These beliefs are often so strange that they sound bizarre to a layman. Let’s look at the different types of delusions:

  • Persecutory delusions (someone’s trying to kill you)
  • Referential delusions (when public forms of communication {songs, tv, ads, etc} seem like a message to you.)
  • Somatic delusions (when you believe there’s something wrongs with your body, an illness, insects/worms under your skin, etc)
  • Erotomanic delusions (when you feel like a public figure is in a relationship with you or your partner is cheating on you, etc)
  • Religious delusions (when you feel like either you’re possessed or have a special bond with your preferred deity)
  • Grandiose delusion (when you think you are a public figure having the power to influence masses)

3. Confused & disorganized speech & thought:

a person with schizophrenia finds it very difficult to follow what someone is telling them because their mind is all disorganized making it very difficult to comprehend what you are saying. As a result of which their confused thoughts produce disorganized speech.

4. Movement Disorder:

schizophrenia can make you catatonic which means you might sometimes jump around or repeat one type of movement over and over again or stay still for hours at a stretch.

5. Reduced concentration:

people with schizophrenia will face a lot of trouble in concentration on one thing. This can be because of disorganization in their thoughts. They easily forget what they were doing while actually being at it.

Also read: Childhood Schizophrenia: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Negative Symptoms Of Schizophrenia

Negative symptoms are a lot different in nature. They basically indicate the lack of certain normal mental functions.  Someone can be schizophrenic even when they do not experience hallucinations, delusions or other positive symptoms of schizophrenia. Let’s have a look at the negative symptoms of schizophrenia;

1. Lack of pleasure: also known as anhedonia, it’s when you don’t seem to enjoy anything at all.

2. Flattening: it’s when you do not have any expressions on your face, your speech is monotonous and flat, you look like an emotionless person. Basically you will have a very flat overall appearance in terms of body language, emotions or expressions.

3. Avolition: it’s when you can’t follow through on things that you have started or thought of starting. For example, you leave unfinished tasks or conversations, you completely ignore things that you might have scheduled, etc

4. Reduced participation in basic routine activities: a schizophrenic person may stop doing things that they normally do like they stop bathing or brushing their teeth or washing their clothes, etc. basically stop taking care of their health and hygiene.

5. Social Withdrawal: people with schizophrenia might show some negative symptoms like not meeting with people, avoiding plans with friends and family, zero contact with the society, etc.

6. Alogia: people who have negative symptoms of schizophrenia might exhibit alogia, the tendency to not talk much or express their emotions or feelings.

It is important to know the negative symptoms of schizophrenia because even when these symptoms are identified, schizophrenia never comes to our mind when we think of a diagnosis as a layman. Keep these symptoms of schizophrenia in mind because they indicate this severe mental health condition as well.

Also read: Early Signs Of Schizophrenia and When Do Symptoms Usually Start?

Frequently Asked Questions!

1. Why are they called positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia?

These symptoms are divided into positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia because of the nature of these symptoms. Positive symptoms ‘add’ things that aren’t really there or are not important like hallucinations and delusions. And Negative symptoms ‘minus’ things that should be there in every individual like lack of pleasure, lack of emotional expression, etc

2. Can you have both positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia?

Usually people experience either positive or negative symptoms of schizophrenia but that doesn’t mean you can’t have both positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia. You can experience both but one type of symptoms (positive or negative) will be the dominant set of symptoms.

3. What is the difference between positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia?

Both positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia differ in their nature. Nothing can make you lead two different kinds of life. To know the difference in symptoms you can revisit the information about the positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia mentioned above.

That’s All Folks!

I hope you found this blog about positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia informative and interesting. I hope now you can easily identify and tell the difference between positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia.

Thanks for reading.

Take care and stay safe.

About The Author

Swarnakshi Sharma
Swarnakshi Sharma

Swarnakshi is a content writer at Calm sage, who believes in a healthier lifestyle for mind and body. A fighter and survivor of depression, she strives to reach and help spread awareness on ending the stigma surrounding mental health issues. A spiritual person at heart, she believes in destiny and the power of Self. She is an avid reader and writer and likes to spend her free time baking and learning about world cultures.

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