Positive Schizophrenia Symptoms

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Schizophrenia is a disorder with wide-ranging symptoms that can be classified into one of three broad categories: positive symptoms, negative symptoms, and cognitive symptoms.

Positive symptoms are what most people think of when they think of schizophrenia and are the most easily treated with antipsychotic medications.

Positive symptoms are so named because they are exaggerated, distorted versions of normal mental functions. In contrast, negative symptoms are absent or muted behaviors. Positive symptoms are not always constantly present--they can come and go, and increase and decrease in severity.

Positive symptoms of schizophrenia include:

  • Hallucinations, or seeing/hearing/smelling/feeling things that are not actually present. Auditory hallucinations, or hearing voices, are the most common type of hallucination among schizophrenics.
  • Delusions, which are false beliefs that are not logical and often bizarre. Paranoid delusions (for example, believing someone is trying to harm or control them) are one type of delusions seen among schizophrenics.
  • Thought disorders, or dysfunctional ways of thinking. There are different types of thought disorders, such as disorganized thinking which leaves a person unable to connect thoughts in a logical pattern.
  • Movement disorders, which often appear as agitated body movements but which could also take the form of catatonia.