Mild symptoms of schizophrenia

As a severe brain disorder, schizophrenia can produce a range of serious and complicating symptoms.

Some of the more well-known characteristics of the condition include tendencies toward delusion-based thinking, hallucinations and paranoia. But there are also several other mild symptoms of schizophrenia that may or may not pose a problem for the patient and the people in his immediate environment.

Neglect of appearance or self-care

Many people who are schizophrenic are not capable of keeping up good personal hygiene habits. They may have to be reminded to do simple things like bathe, eat, brush their teeth or put on appropriate clothing. Normally this is attributed to their tendencies toward scattered thinking, but it may also be a sign of co-existing depression or mental preoccupation.

Poor social skills

Schizophrenics - especially paranoid schizophrenics - often deliberately retreat from social situations. They are usually incapable of being in normal social settings and behaving in appropriate ways, and this is often compounded by the fact that others can be startled, put off or frightened by their behavior. Paranoia may cause the schizophrenic to distrust those around him, too, making close personal relationships extremely difficult.

Lack of expression

Many schizophrenics have flat facial expressions or speak in monotone voices. Without being able to pick up on emotional or physical cues from other people - or to gauge their own feelings appropriately - schizophrenics may not even know that their tone and facial expressions are lacking in animation.

Inability to focus

A hallmark symptom of schizophrenia is the inability to focus. Many people with the disorder may appear to have attention deficit disorder or act in ways that seem distracted or disengaged. This is mostly due the brain's inability to carry out cognitive functions normally, but some people may be able to work on staying focused through practicing productive listening and communicating skills.

Source: Web MD, NIMH

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