Schizophrenia is characterized by episodes of psychosis (losing touch with reality) in between periods of blunted emotions and withdrawal.1 Schizophrenia symptoms can be defined by what are known as positive symptoms and negative symptoms, along with cognitive symptoms, mood symptoms, and motor symptoms.
Positive symptoms - The symptoms that occur during the episodes of psychosis are known as positive symptoms and include thought disorder, delusions (false beliefs, often with paranoia), and hallucinations – mainly hearing voices.1 These symptoms are often accompanied by anxiety, depression and excessive activity – moving around constantly and becoming agitated.1
Negative symptoms - In contrast, the episodes of withdrawal consist of negative symptoms. These include reduced emotions, less fluency of speech, poor capacity to plan, initiate and/or persist in activities, and reduced feelings of pleasure or interest. Negative symptoms are usually responsible for problems with social interaction and daily activities.1