Positive and Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia

The symptoms of schizophrenia are usually classified into:

Positive and Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Positive Symptoms

Positive symptoms are highly exaggerated ideas, perceptions, or actions that show the person can’t tell what’s real from what isn’t. Here the word “positive” means the presence (rather than absence) of symptoms. They can include:


Hearing, seeing or feeling something that is not there in reality. Hallucinations can occur with any of the five senses, sound, sight, touch, taste, and smell.

Hearing voices(auditory hallucination) is the most common hallucination in schizophrenia


Strongly held irrational and false beliefs due to an inability to segregate real from unreal experiences

Common delusions are:-

Persecutory delusions, referential delusions, somatic delusions, erotomanic delusions, religious delusions, grandiose delusions, etc.

Disorganized thinking

Making loose associations. Drawing conclusions that are not based on reality. Lack of logical reasoning


An unpleasant state of increased tension and irritability

Negative Symptoms

Negative symptoms are thoughts, feelings, or behaviors normally present that are absent or diminished in a person with a mental disorder.

Lack of drive or initiative

Spending a lot of time in bed with no motivation to do anything

Social withdrawal/depression

Giving the impression that the affected person prefers to be alone and does not want to see other people


Experience feelings of emptiness. Unable to follow through on plans

Lack of emotional response

Lacking normal signs of emotion not feeling either happy or sad eg:- Reduced facial expression

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