Why are they called positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia?

If you’re familiar with any medical condition, then you know how easy it is to get lost in the jargon. But don’t worry, I’m here to make sure that you will leave this article knowing everything there is to know about positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia.

So sit tight (or stand if that’s your thing) because things are about to get interesting.

What Is Schizophrenia?

Before we dive deep into what positive and negative symptoms mean, let’s start by understanding what schizophrenia is all about.

Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder characterized by abnormal social behavior, disordered speech patterns, loss of touch with reality (delusions), and hallucinations among other things. It requires treatment for a lifetime since it has no known cure.

The exact causes of schizophrenia remain largely unknown but could involve genetic factors as well as environmental factors such as early childhood experiences or even exposure to viruses while in the womb.

Now that we have an idea of what schizophrenia entails let’s explore the terms ‘positive’ and ‘negative’.

The Positive Symptoms

Yes! There are positive signs/symptoms associated with this not so cool illness. And nope they aren’t good per se just a medical classification term for schizophrenic symptoms where something has changed or been added which should not be present in healthy individuals:


Delusions are false beliefs held despite evidence otherwise being presented that go beyond mere cultural/religious believes like aliens on earth…


( •_•)>⌐■-■


on second thought… majority do fall outside 😅

Some common delusion types include:
– Paranoid Delusions; These occur when somebody firmly believes without proof others intend harm against them.

  • Or being watched, might I suggest the thought of John Cena standing behind you 😈👻
  • Religious Delusions; one starts believing they have a unique and special relationship with God.

  • Wait until they hear he sends roman messengers not texts… smh.


A schizophrenia indicator in which people experience things that aren’t there. These sensory experiences occur without any external factors to provoke them. Could come as:


This is an extremely common symptom whereby patients can hear voices coming from outside their own mind.

Hmm!! Sure would love if it were Morgan Freeman narrating my life 😔 but instead its Henry always telling me he has cookies even when none are given out at lunchtime!


People who struggle with hallucinations may see imaginary images or visual sensations that aren’t actually present around them (we talking ghosts here)😱.

Sometimes harmless entities depicted like gnomes or little fairies prancing around while other times bloody murderers lurking in every corner just waiting for us! 👀

Disordered Thinking

Disordered thinking, also known as thought disorder, refers to abnormal functioning in the way someone thinks about things. This peculiar signature indicates the separation between reality and imagination among those affected by schizophrenia.

  • Clang Association means speech patterns where words that rhyme replace themselves, I'm good brood let's grab some food and nonspecific word usage we sat on top two three four five cups

  • Makes me feel like communicating via song lyrics Jingle bells Batman smells

Sounds absolutely insane right? Well yes because positive symptoms most commonly seen get perceived as obvious, bizarre and existing beyond normal human temperament expectations pretty much how olives seem to others (my opinion don’t @me)

But what separates negative symptoms?

The Negative Symptoms

So this is where the redundancy sneaks up because ‘Negative’ in this context means an absence or a reduction of expected/ normal human thoughts or behaviors. Clear as mud? Ok let’s explore:


A little known term to many, most will recognise it when you say lack of interest or emotion basically one doesn’t care for any activity and might seem bored with life itself.

Watching sad movies together perfectly sums up my dad and I 😪 but turns out the man was just depressed All along 🤦‍♀️.


The loss of desire/drive to perform goals willingly is classified as avolition due to its representation that tends towards low energy and poor hygiene; reason being that those affected lack the motivation required for becoming independent.

  • ‘Later Mom’ always ends up early morning since we didn’t clean our dishes.


An inability to feel pleasure from activities deemed enjoyable can be crippling honestly safe haven from everyday sorrow lies on Tv screen re-runs ok even Friends has become more necessary than oxygen at this point knowing me o-o!.

  • Nevertheless getting negative symptoms adds fuel on already existing emotional turmoil, they are also harder/trickier recognizing especially because they get associated with motivations (the why) prompting them such instances involving which may mean alteration would require tedious detective work that consists alongside observation additional inquiries so as better diagnosis,

(requires memory retention atleast mine needs help🙃)


Though positive and negative indicated in schizophrenia diagnostical criteria could sound like branding techniques… it’s important individuals note their difference amongst various anomalies present around us daily however bizarre almost poetic way patients express themselves initially when unaware about what condition they have gets tough too… It takes months sometimes years before actual diagnosis sets in, keep your loved ones close we all need support right?!😉

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