Fast Five Quiz: Schizophrenia Practice Essentials

Steve Soreff, MD


November 22, 2022

The symptoms of schizophrenia can be divided into four domains: positive, negative, cognitive, and mood symptoms. Positive symptoms include psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations, which are usually auditory; delusions; and disorganized speech and behavior.

Negative symptoms include a decrease in emotional range, loss of interests and drive, tremendous inertia, and poverty of speech. Persons with schizophrenia often exhibit a flat affect. They can describe an emotional situation in a monotone voice. This can relate to anhedonia (the absence of happiness).

Although patients with schizophrenia do experience poor quality of speech at times, this is not aphasia, with which patients struggle to articulate thoughts in normal sentences as others could. Patients with schizophrenia distort the meaning itself.

Cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia include difficulty understanding nuances and subtleties of interpersonal cues and relationships and deficits in attention, working memory, and executive functions. Schizophrenia can be seen as a thought disorder. The thoughts of affected individuals are often disorganized, disconnected, and loosely associated.

Finally, mood symptoms include feeling depressed and seeming cheerful or sad in a way that is difficult to understand.

Learn more about schizophrenia clinical presentation.


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