The symptoms of schizophrenia can be negative, positive, or
"Negative" doesn't mean
"bad." Negative symptoms are things that are "lost" from your personality or
how you experience life. You may:
Find little or no pleasure in life. You may
not enjoy things you once enjoyed, such as playing sports or video games or
visiting with friends. This is a common symptom of
Feel like you have no emotions. You may not smile or
frown, make eye contact, or use other facial cues that show how you feel.
Have a hard time focusing or paying attention. You may not
understand how to use information well, so you may feel confused. You may not have
Not be interested in succeeding or meeting goals. Many people
with schizophrenia don't do well at work or in school.
care of yourself. You may not bother to wash, do laundry, eat on a regular
basis, or clean your living space.
"Positive" doesn't mean
"good." Positive symptoms are things "added" or "new" to your personality or
how you experience life because of schizophrenia. You may:
Have hallucinationshallucinations. Most people with schizophrenia hear noises or voices that aren't there. Some people with the illness also may
see, taste, touch, or smell things that aren't there.
delusions, which are ideas that aren't true. For
example, you may think that you are a powerful person or that the police or demons
want to harm you or cause problems for you.
Act oddly. You may
become very excited or angry with other people. You may have odd body
movements, such as often rocking back and forth or making
Show emotions that don't fit the situation. For example, you
may smile when talking about sad topics or laugh at the wrong time.
Not be able to keep your thoughts straight and not make sense
to others when you talk. For example, when someone asks you a question, you may
give an answer that doesn't make sense, not be able to say much, or only give
Cognitive and other symptoms
Cognitive symptoms. These symptoms affect how you think. They
include memory loss and not being able to understand things well enough to make
decisions. Cognitive symptoms often aren't obvious to you or others.
Specific behavior changes.Some symptoms of schizophrenia may cause certain behaviors, such as being afraid
with little reason, standing in awkward positions for a long time, or making up
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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