page4.† Schizophrenia:† Understanding the Disorder
††††††††††††††Positive Symptoms:† (the outward or more visible signs):
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Pos-sym1:† Delusions.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Individuals suffering from delusions truly believe something that does not make sense to others around them.† Typical delusions include the belief that one is being spied on, plotted against, harmed or tormented.† Patients may believe they possess special powers, or they are being controlled by other forces.† Delusions of a religious nature are common in patients.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Pos-sym2:† Hallucinations.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† People with schizophrenia may hear, see, smell, taste or feel something† that cannot be recognized by others than themselves.† By far the most† common are auditory, where the individual hears voices talking about them, or to them.† The voices often say critical or nasty things to the person, or command them to do things.†
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Pos-sym3:† Thought disorders.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† A person with schizophrenia may have difficulty organizing and processing their thoughts in a way that makes it possible for them to communicate clearly with other people.† Their speech may appear fragmented and incoherent because their thinking is blocked or jumbled.† This is sometimes called† conceptual disorganization.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Pos-sym4:† Excitement.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Individuals with schizophrenia may seem hyperactive and restless.† They may feel widely varying and rapidly changing emotions.†
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Pos-sym5:† Grandiosity.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Individuals may believe they have great wealth, power or fame.† Their reality may be so impaired that they believe they can stop bullets with their chest, or fly over buildings.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Pos-sym6:† Suspiciousness/persecution.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† People with schizophrenia are guarded and mistrustful of others.† They may believe that they are being watched or followed or suspect people are trying to harm them.† Individuals may constantly search for proof of their suspicions.†
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Pos-sym7:† Hostility.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Some people with schizophrenia may exhibit episodes of hostility.† They may become abusive, sarcastic and uncooperative with their families and caregivers.
††††††† While the positive symptoms are more striking and often call attention to the person with the disorder, the negative symptoms are also important, as they can seriously impair the personís capacity to function and fit into the world around them.†