Schizophrenia is diagnosed using symptoms that are classified in the groups; positive symptoms, negative symptoms, and disorganized symptoms. The positive symptoms involve the symptoms that normal individuals do not experience but the schizophrenia people experience them. For example, schizophrenia persons tend to have delusions, visual, olfactory, speech, auditory, and gustatory hallucinations. These symptoms are regarded as a manifestation of psychosis (Kneisl C. and Trigoboff E., 2009).
The disorganized symptoms include disorganized thinking. The disorganized thinking is manifested in the speech of the person. The person does not make coherent speeches but jumps from one topic to another randomly, and gives answers to apparently for unrelated questions. Another disorganized symptom is poor hygiene, inappropriate outbursts, and lack of self-care. For example, one may not dress according to the weather. At times, the person may run on the streets naked. Another disorganized symptom is lack of response to the environment. The person remains in one position and refuses to move for a long time.
Negative symptoms include; affective flattening i.e. the person develops a restricted range of expressions. The person shows a relatively fixed expression, and unresponsive to facial expressions with poor eye contact, and body language. The other negative symptom is Alogia. It refers to difficulties in speaking. It is manifested by reduced speech output, and verbally influent in speech. The person chooses words with difficulties. The person finds it difficult to give brief answers to questions. The other negative symptom is avolition. The avolition is characterized by lack of motivation. The person has no will or the desire to participate in activities. The person may sit for a long time without doing anything. The behavior can be catatonic.
Kneisl C. and Trigoboff E. (2009). Contemporary Psychiatric- Mental Health Nursing. 2nd
edition. London: Pearson Prentice Ltd. p. 371