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Understanding Schizophrenia: Insight into Positive Schizophrenia Symptoms

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Schizophrenia is a chronic mental health disorder where individuals interpret reality abnormally, and it affects the way they behave, think, and see the world Schizophrenia characterizes a combination of delusion, hallucinations, abnormal thinking, and impaired behavior affecting daily activities.

Schizophrenia is not to be ignored! Schizophrenia is not curable, but if left undiagnosed, this condition can worsen. Hence, timely treatment is needed to manage schizophrenia symptoms. A schizophrenic person can cause harm to self and to others. Early detection of Schizophrenia Symptoms in adults can help the person to manage schizophrenia and live a normal life.

Dealing with schizophrenia can be tough, especially when it comes to positive symptoms like hallucinations and delusions. These symptoms basically layer extra, often distressing experiences on top of what's actually happening. It's super important to get a handle on these symptoms to really improve life quality and make sure treatment is on point for people with schizophrenia. They can be pretty challenging, but understanding what's going on and finding the right ways to manage them can make a big difference.

What are the Positive Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Why are they called positive symptoms? Does it mean that they are good or beneficial? The answer is ‘No’. These positive symptoms do not imply that the patient is cured. Schizophrenia causes a surplus of mental experiences, and positive symptoms refer to those that are in excess or added to normal mental (thoughts, feelings, behaviors) functioning.

For example, take hallucinations in schizophrenia. These are considered a 'positive symptom,' but not in the sense that they're beneficial. They're 'positive' because they add something – in this case, sensory experiences like seeing or hearing things that aren't really there. This is quite different from what most people experience daily, making it a key area to focus on in understanding and treating schizophrenia.

Looking at someone experiencing positive symptoms, they might appear unfocused or as if they're paying attention to something others can't see or hear. Psychiatrists describe this as "responding to internal stimuli." This means the person is reacting to perceptions or sensations that are happening internally, like in the case of auditory hallucinations, rather than external events.


Here, the individuals tend to feel, hear, smell, and see things that are not real.  Among them, hearing voices (auditory hallucinations) is most common. In fact, one of the main reasons individuals with schizophrenia may end up in the hospital is because they're hearing voices that instruct them to hurt themselves or others. This is a serious concern and a clear sign that immediate medical attention is needed to help manage these harmful symptoms. Sometimes, the individual misinterprets their self-talk as coming from an external source. 

Hallucinations can come in various forms. Here are five types:

  1. Auditory: This is when you hear voices or sounds that don't actually exist. It's like hearing someone talking to you, but there's no one around.
  2. Visual: This involves seeing things that aren't real, like people, colors, shapes, or objects that aren't actually there.
  3. Tactile: This type makes you feel sensations on or under your skin when there's nothing causing them. A common example is feeling like bugs are crawling on your skin.
  4. Olfactory: Here, you smell odors that don't have a physical source. It's like catching a whiff of something, but there's nothing around that could be causing that smell.
  5. Taste: This involves tasting something in your mouth without having eaten or drunk anything. It's as if flavors appear out of nowhere.


Delusions are strong false beliefs that individuals have, and they can be of any kind. The person may believe that some external forces are controlling their thoughts or actions. The person may also believe that they have supernatural powers, and they may feel that he/she is a famous personality.

Delusions in schizophrenia often center around specific themes. Here are some common types:

  1. Erotomanic: This is when someone believes a famous or important person, like a celebrity or politician, is in love with them. It can sometimes lead to stalking behavior.
  2. Grandiose: Stemming from the French word "grande," this type involves an inflated sense of self-importance. The person might think they have exceptional talents, knowledge, or power, often looking down on others who they perceive as less important.
  3. Persecutory: This is when someone believes they're being targeted or harmed by others, even when there's no real proof. They might think they're being followed, spied on, or bad-mouthed.
  4. Somatic: Here, the delusions are all about bodily functions or sensations.
  5. Referential: This involves the belief that ordinary events or comments are specifically directed at oneself. Delusions can be bizarre, like thinking aliens have removed one’s organs, or more realistic, like believing the police are watching them.

Disorganized Thoughts and Speech

Individuals with schizophrenia can experience difficulty in organizing thoughts. They are easily distracted or unable to follow the given instructions. When they talk, their word does not make sense, and they answer questions irrelevantly. Speech is also affected: they speak in a disorganized manner, and their statements may consist of meaningful but jumbled words, creating a word salad.

Disorganized thinking in schizophrenia can manifest in several ways. Here's a rundown:

  • Derailment: This is when someone starts talking about one thing but suddenly shifts to a different topic without finishing the first thought. It's like their train of thought jumps tracks.
  • Circumstantial Thinking: This involves talking in a roundabout way, with lots of unnecessary details. The person might never really get to the main point of what they're trying to say.
  • Tangential Thinking: Here, the answers given don't really relate to the questions asked. It's as if the responses are taking a tangent, veering off course.
  • Loose Associations: This type of thinking is a bit scattered, where thoughts seem illogical or not connected in a way that makes sense.
  • Clang Associations: This is choosing words based on their sound, like rhymes or puns, rather than their meaning. It's more about how the words sound together than what they're actually conveying.
  • Incoherence: In this case, there's no clear connection between words. It can be hard to follow because the words tossed together don't form coherent sentences.

Disorganized Behavior

The individual may face issues with goal-directed self-care behavior, such as poor personal hygiene and sudden impulsive and socially inappropriate behavior. For example, the individuals may wear a cotton shirt in winter, and they may wear odd or improper makeup, or they may shout at others without reason, etc.

Disorganized movements

The individual may perform the same movements again and again, but sometimes, they may be still and rigid in a particular posture, and they cannot move for hours or days.

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Diagnosis of Schizophrenia 

Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can prevent complications. Family and friends play a major role in encouraging and supporting the individual to seek treatment and follow it.

There is no single health test or brain scan that can suffice for the diagnosis of schizophrenia. Since the doctors are still unaware of the exact cause of schizophrenia, to determine how to treat schizophrenia, multiple psychometric tests and exams need to be done before confirming the diagnosis. These health exams comprise the following:

  • During the initial appointment checkup, the doctor needs to know the entire medical history of the patient and their family, followed by their normal mental health, mood patterns, and substance abuse problems. They may also ask for school or work performance reports to get insights into the cognitive abilities of the patient.
  • For the next step, the doctor may prescribe several blood tests, physical exams, and imaging tests like Computed Tomography (CT) scan and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
  • Even psychometric assessments are essential to establish the diagnosis.
  • For the final step and confirmed diagnosis, the patient should have experienced symptoms of ‘positive’ schizophrenia in a one-month period. These symptoms are hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized speech.

People with schizophrenia lose interest in things. One of the common examples is a lack of self-interest in hygiene and grooming. These signs can be hard to find, especially in cases of teenagers, because of the reason that teens have big emotional mood swings between highs and lows. Also, depression has the same symptoms as that of schizophrenia. One-fourth of people diagnosed with schizophrenia meet the criteria for depression. It’s very easy to misjudge a person’s disorder as the following symptoms are common in depression and schizophrenia –

  • Depressed mood nearly every day
  • Diminished interest in all activities
  • Significant weight loss or gain
  • Sleep disturbance (insomnia or hypersomnia)
  • Psychomotor agitation (restlessness)
  • Retardation (slowing down)
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Decreased ability to think or concentrate or decision-making
  • Recurrent suicidal ideation

Research studies show that family support is vital to help schizophrenic patients manage the symptoms of schizophrenia in adults. If you or your loved one is fighting Schizophrenia, seeking early treatment is key to a better quality of life.

‍Schizophrenia Treatment

Schizophrenia treatment includes a combination of medications, therapies, social support, and lifestyle changes to help reduce Schizophrenia symptoms. Even if a schizophrenic person feels better within a few months of treatment, long-term treatment for schizophrenia is very crucial to avoid new episodes and to effectively manage.

Psychiatric Medication

A psychiatrist usually prescribes medication for schizophrenia treatment. Medication can help a person combat the positive symptoms of schizophrenia, like hallucinations and delusions. Medications like antipsychotics reduce the severity and frequency of the incidence of positive symptoms. 

Psychological Treatment

Psychotherapy, under the guidance of a trained clinical psychologist, is seen to be extremely effective in treating the symptoms of schizophrenia. Psychotherapeutic approaches like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and more can help a person in their recovery. 

Social Support

Social support plays a crucial role in recovery. Having the support of your family and friends affects recovery to a significant degree. Family members play an important role in creating routines and a stress-free environment for those recovering from schizophrenia. 

Empowering Schizophrenia Patients: How Cadabams Can Help 

Social support plays a crucial role in recovery. Having the support of your family and friends affects recovery to a significant degree. Family members play an important role in creating routines and a stress-free environment for those recovering from schizophrenia. 

If you are searching for a solution to your problem, Cadabam’s Rehabilitation Centre can help you with its team of specialized experts. We have been helping thousands of people live healthier and happier lives for 30+ years. We leverage evidence-based approaches and holistic treatment methods to help individuals effectively manage their Schizophrenia. Get in touch with us today. You can call us at +91 96111 94949

Book screening with our director of triage,  Kamlesh Verma
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1. What are the positive symptoms of schizophrenia?

Positive symptoms of schizophrenia refer to signs of the disorder that are different from the normal human behavioral spectrum. These include delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thoughts, and more. 

2. How do positive symptoms impact daily life for someone with schizophrenia?

Positive symptoms are especially difficult to deal with since they break down a person’s daily functioning. They affect a person’s connection with reality and can cause significant distress. Positive symptoms like delusions and hallucinations can also cause a person to be a danger to themselves and those around them. 

3. What's the difference between positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia?

Positive symptoms refer to the symptoms of schizophrenia that are in addition to normal human behavior, like delusions and hallucinations. Negative symptoms, on the other hand, are symptoms that take away from normal human behavior, like reduced emotions and social withdrawal. 

4. What are the best treatments available for positive schizophrenic symptoms?

A combination of medication and therapy is seen to be most effective in treating positive symptoms. Medication can reduce the incidence and severity of the symptoms, while therapy allows a person to cope with the symptoms better.

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