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Types of Symptoms

In group today we discussed the symptoms of schizophrenia. There are three types of symptoms:
  1. Positive Symptoms
  2. Negative Symptoms
  3. Cognitive Symptoms

Positive symptoms include: hallucinations and delusions. I experienced a lot of positive symptoms like hearing voices, seeing things, and paranoia. The voices told me that I was a dishonor to my family and that I wouldn't succeed if I were to move out on my own. An example of a positive symptom that I encountered was thoughts of the neighbor spying on me, and giving information to my family. However, I foolishly confronted the neighbor and discovered that my accusations were false. On another occassion I thought that my roommate was going into my room and going through my belongings. I believed this to the extent of putting a lock on my door to put an end to the worrying. One day while walking home I thought I saw a strange man following me, and meant to kidnap me. I rushed into a nearby grocery store and waited until the man disappeared. As I exited the store I saw the same man and then zoomed into a McDonalds restaurant. I told a bus driver in the restaurant that I was being followed and asked if he would drive me home. He was on his break. He directed me to a nearby bus stop. I walked to the bus stop and caught the bus home.

Negative symptoms include: lack of motivation, not speaking to other people, and not taking care of personal hygiene. While in jail I did not talk to anyone, and if I did it was one word. The nurses placed special people in my room to try to get me to confide in them, however it did not work. Another experience with negative symptoms was not showering. I thought that the soap had bad chemicals in it and would irritate or burn my skin.

Finally, cognitive symptoms refer to difficulties learning and concentrating. In college I had a problem with doing my homework. I could not concentrate on readings and doing assignments took forever to complete. To accomplish a task I would take breaks and naps, and then return to my exercises. In jail I experienced jumbled thoughts or no thoughts at all. It was strange. My whole experience was strange wasn't it?


Great website! My husband's mom has Schizophrenia and it breaks my heart to see what she goes through on a daily basis. She is in her early 50's and has been living with her mother for most of her life. My husband is very upset because the rest of his family doesn't believe that she can overcome this illness. My husband and I are the only ones who encourage her and tell her that she can overcome Schizophrenia. We are now researching the encouraging stories of others who have overcome Schizophrenia such as yourself. Thank you for sharing your story:)

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