Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Negative symptoms of schizophrenia are absent or reduced levels of emotional and social responses.

The term "negative symptoms" can be confusing but comparing some examples of both positive and neagtive symptoms should help to clarify the meaning.

 

Examples of negative symptoms include:

  • Flat emotional levels
  • Difficulty speaking or even an inability to speak
  • Inappropriate social responses to normal social cues
  • Lack of interest in most aspects of life

In contrast, some examples of postive symptoms include:

  • Delusions--false beliefs that you continue to hold despite evidence that they are false
  • Hallucinations--seeing/hearing/feeling things that are not actually there
  • Grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior

If you are worried that you might be schizophrenic, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Awareness of the difference between reality and hallucinations/delusionsmeans that if you are still in the early stages of the disease.

The best course of action is to make an appointment to be evaluated by a mental health professional. Many of the early symptoms of schizophrenia, before an acute psychotic episode, can actually be caused by less serious disorders; even hallucinations do not necessarily mean that you are schizophrenic. And even if you do develop schizophrenia, receiving an early diagnosis and beginning treatment right away will leave you with a better prognosis for lifetime management of the disease.

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