Negative and positive symptoms of Schizophrenia.

Essay by spitfire99 May 2004

download word file, 2 pages 4.0

Downloaded 58 times

Two typical symptoms and associated features of Schizophrenia are positive symptoms and negative symptoms. These will fluctuate in severity over time. Some patients show persistent psychotic symptoms and others only have symptoms during acute episodes and are generally better adjusted between them.

Positive symptoms of schizophrenia are also called psychotic symptoms. These are assumed to show a "distortion of normal functions". Examples are hallucinations and delusions. Positive symptoms do not mean that these symptoms are beneficial; rather, these are symptoms that are present during an active phase of schizophrenia and tend to respond better to treatment.

Hallucinations are sensory preceptors that are not caused by outside stimuli. These are usually auditory experiences for patients and seem real to the person experiencing them. Hallucinations are associated with delusional beliefs by means of an explanation for the hallucination. For example, if a person hears a voice of an alien telling them that they are the chosen earthling to take over the world, the person would figure that they are the Supreme High Commander of the Earth.

This would be delusional.

Negative symptoms of Schizophrenia assume the "loss of normal functions", or functions that seem to be missing from behavior and are hard to recognize because they are so subtle. Negative symptoms carry a poorer prognosis than positive symptoms. A few examples would be social withdrawal, lack of emotional responses, slower movements, or they may lose touch with basic drives such as thirst and lose the normal pleasure that comes with satisfying it.

A common symptom of Schizophrenia includes a deadening of the person's non-verbal emotional responses and refers to the lack of outward expression. This is called blunted affect or affective flattening. Blunted people have expressionless and apathetic faces.

They are not happy or sad; they seem rather indifferent. Their voices do...