Alogia, or poverty of speech, is the lessening of speech fluency and productivity, thought to reflect slowing or blocked thoughts, and often manifested as short, empty replies to questions.
Affective flattening is the reduction in the range and intensity of emotional expression, including facial expression, voice tone, eye contact (person seems to stare, doesn't maintain eye contact in a normal process), and is not able to interpret body language nor use appropriate body language.
Avolition is the reduction, difficulty, or inability to initiate and persist in goal-directed behavior; it is often mistaken for apparent disinterest. (examples of avolition include: no longer interested in going out and meeting with friends, no longer interested in activities that the person used to show enthusiasm for, no longer interested in much of anything, sitting in the house for many hours a day doing nothing.)
A short summary of a list of negative symptoms are:
- lack of emotion - the inability to enjoy regular activities (visiting with friends, etc.) as much as before
- Low energy - the person tends to sit around and sleep much more than normal
- lack of interest in life, low motivation
- Affective flattening - a blank, blunted facial expression or less lively facial movements, flat voice (lack of normal intonations and variance) or physical movements.
- Alogia (difficulty or inability to speak)
- Inappropriate social skills or lack of interest or ability to socialize with other people
- Inability to make friends or keep friends, or not caring to have friends
- Social isolation - person spends most of the day alone or only with close family
Cognitive Symptoms of Schizophrenia
Cognitive symptoms refer to the difficulties with concentration and memory. These can include:
- disorganized thinking
- slow thinking
- difficulty understanding
- poor concentration
- poor memory
- difficulty expressing thoughts
- difficulty integrating thoughts, feelings and behavior
Delusions are firmly held erroneous beliefs due to distortions or exaggerations of reasoning and/or misinterpretations of perceptions or experiences. Delusions of being followed or watched are common, as are beliefs that comments, radio or TV programs, etc., are directing special messages directly to him/her.
Hallucinations are distortions or exaggerations of perception in any of the senses, although auditory hallucinations (“hearing voices” within, distinct from one’s own thoughts) are the most common, followed by visual hallucinations.
Disorganized speech/thinking, also described as “thought disorder” or “loosening of associations,” is a key aspect of schizophrenia. Disorganized thinking is usually assessed primarily based on the person’s speech. Therefore, tangential, loosely associated, or incoherent speech severe enough to substantially impair effective communication is used as an indicator of thought disorder by the DSM-IV.
Grossly disorganized behavior includes difficulty in goal-directed behavior (leading to difficulties in activities in daily living), unpredictable agitation or silliness, social disinhibition, or behaviors that are bizarre to onlookers. Their purposelessness distinguishes them from unusual behavior prompted by delusional beliefs.
Catatonic behaviors are characterized by a marked decrease in reaction to the immediate surrounding environment, sometimes taking the form of motionless and apparent unawareness, rigid or bizarre postures, or aimless excess motor activity.
Other symptoms sometimes present in schizophrenia but not often enough to be definitional alone include affect inappropriate to the situation or stimuli, unusual motor behavior (pacing, rocking), depersonalization, derealization, and somatic preoccupations.
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