The symptoms of schizophrenia are often frightening and confusing for both the sufferer and those around them.
Symptoms can be split into two categories – positive and negative. The positive symptoms are those that have resulted from the illness, and usually cause the greatest distress. Positive symptoms include:
• Disorganised thoughts and speech.
Negative symptoms involve the everyday feelings and abilities lost as a result of the illness. Negative symptoms include:
• Loss of motivation.
• Loss of ability to interact socially.
• Loss of enthusiasm.
• Loss of appropriate emotional responses.
The criteria for schizophrenia is characterised by the DSM IV:
A. Characteristic symptoms: Two (or more) of the following, each present for a significant portion of time.
During a 1-month period (or less if successfully treated):
(3) Disorganized speed, (e.g., frequent derailment or incoherence).
(4) Grossly disorganized or catatonic behaviour.
(5) Negative symptoms, e.g. affective flattening, alogia, or avolition.
(DSM IV TR, p.312-313)
Note: Only one Criterion A symptom is required if delusions are bizarre or if hallucinations involve a voice keeping a running commentary on the person's behaviour or thoughts, or two or more voices conversing with each other.