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5 Characteristics of Schizophrenia

Common Schizophrenia Characteristics

  • Negative Symptoms
  • Abnormal Motor Behavior
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorganized Thinking

A severe and debilitating mental health condition, schizophrenia affects the thinking, behavior, and emotions of individuals who are affected by it. This disorder, fortunately, isn't as common as other mental health diagnoses. It does significantly affect those who suffer from it, so much so that it can seem they have lost all touch with reality. Its symptoms are chronic and lifelong. The following article will outline some of the more common characteristics of the condition.

1. Negative Symptoms

The first characteristic is more of a category of symptoms. Negative symptoms encompass a variety of things that cause an individual to be unable to function normally. These can include a flat affect or inability to show emotion, along with speaking in a monotone. They may have trouble making eye contact with others, as well. Trouble completing personal hygiene activities isn't uncommon. Finally, loss of interest in regular activities and social withdraw can occur.

2. Abnormal Motor Behavior

Unusual behavior with regard to motor activities can often be seen in those with schizophrenia. This can be exhibited in a number of ways. Abnormal posture, exaggerated silliness, useless movements, pronounced agitation and resistance to instruction are examples one may encounter.

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3. Delusions

Delusions are false beliefs that reside in the mind. They aren't based in reality. These thoughts can encompass a vast array of topics. They often involve persecution or paranoia of some sort, but this isn't the only type of delusion from which those with schizophrenia can suffer. Sometimes delusions of grandeur occur in which the individual thinks they are superior in some way to others, that they are meant for greatness or they are invincible. They may attribute feelings to others that are not real. Any topic that isn't based in reality can be considered delusional.

4. Hallucinations

Hallucinations go beyond thoughts. They are things that are heard or seen by the person with schizophrenia, but that do not exist in reality. Hearing voices is extremely common for those who are plagued by this mental health disorder. It's also possible to see or smell nonexistent things.

5. Disorganized Thinking

An individual's disorganized thinking is displayed through their speech or the words that they say. That's how others know the thoughts in the schizophrenic's head are problematic. These thoughts can encompass any number of scenarios or subjects. It's common to find that conversations with these individuals do not make sense. They make statements out of context or provide meaningless answers to questions. Jibberish or words that can't be properly understood are a common symptom of schizophrenia.

This disorder can seem incredibly cruel because it robs the victim of a normal life and doesn't allow them to make healthy connections. It can be quite severe and cause a great impact on the schizophrenic, their loved ones and peers. Schizophrenia is a condition that should be taken seriously and treated with immediacy if it is suspected.