Fast Five Quiz: What Do You Know About Schizophrenia?

Stephen Soreff, MD

Disclosures

August 09, 2019

Patients with schizophrenia may appear inappropriately jolly or sad. These moods are often difficult to understand. That is because there is an underlying depressed mood in people with schizophrenia. Neurocognitive deficits in schizophrenia (eg, in working memory and ability to organize) make it particularly difficult for patients to function in society. People with schizophrenia generally have trouble understanding the nuances and subtleties of social interaction. They feel distant from others and alienated from society. The patient's recognition that they are different and that they do not feel connected to others—or "normal"—may account for their depression, and this may contribute to their high lifetime suicide rate of about 5%.

Symptoms of schizophrenia are divided into four domains: positive, negative, cognitive, and mood. Positive symptoms include hallucinations (defined as false sensations which may be either visual, olfactory, gustatory, tactile or—most commonly—auditory), delusions, and disorganized speech and behavior. Schizophrenia has been called a "thought disorder," reflecting how speech and thinking are not connected or loosely connected and disorganized. The negative symptoms of schizophrenia include decrease in emotional range (flat affect), poverty of speech, and loss of interests and drive. Affected individuals appear to lack any motivation.

To learn more about the signs and symptoms of schizophrenia, read here.

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