What is schizophrenia?

Posted on June 2, 2016

Schizophrenia is a long-term mental health problem. People with schizophrenia can have a range of symptoms including periods when they cannot tell the difference between what is real and what is imagined. Schizophrenia seriously disturbs the way people think, feel and relate to others.

What are the signs & symptoms of schizophrenia?

The symptoms of schizophrenia fall into two categories—positive symptoms and negative symptoms. Positive symptoms (sometimes called psychotic symptoms) refers to behaviours and experiences of people with schizophrenia that people without schizophrenia do not have (e.g., hallucinations, delusions). Negative symptoms refers to traits that are absent or reduced in people with schizophrenia (e.g., social withdrawal, lack of motivation).

Positive sympt​oms

1. delusions (fixed, false beliefs that are not consistent with the person's culture, and have no basis in fact)

2. hallucinations (people hear, see, taste, smell or feel something that does not actually exist)

3. disorganized thoughts (unconnected thoughts that make it impossible to communicate clearly with other people)

4. disorganized mood (finding it hard to express feelings; feeling inappropriate or intense bursts of emotion; feeling empty of any emotions)

5. disorganized behaviour (cannot complete everyday tasks such as bathing, dressing appropriately and preparing simple meals)

6. changes in sensitivity (more sensitive and aware of other people; or withdrawn and seeming to pay no attention to others).

Negative sympto​ms

1. slowing of physical activity levels or, more rarely, overactivity

2. reduced motivation, for example, problems finishing tasks or making long-term plans

3. loss of interest in the feelings and lives of others

4. less concern for personal appearance.

No single cause has been found for schizophrenia, although there is a clear genetic link. Environmental and social factors may also be involved in the development of schizophrenia.

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Category(s):Schizophrenia

Source material from CAMH


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