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Positive and Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a chronic mental disorder that has an impact on your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This often-misunderstood disorder can carry an unwarranted stigma that people with schizophrenia are dangerous or untreatable. 

Our experienced psychiatrist, Amr Beltagui, MD, provides insight into what to expect from schizophrenia and options to help you cope with your symptoms. 

While the symptoms along with the stigma can be overwhelming and difficult to deal with, Dr. Beltagui offers comprehensive treatment services to help restore normalcy in your daily life.

Understanding the symptoms of schizophrenia

Because schizophrenia causes symptoms that impact so many aspects of your life, it’s important to first understand what they are.

Schizophrenia symptoms are categorized into three specific groups:

Positive symptoms

Positive symptoms describe those that change your perception of the world. Although they are called “positive,” these symptoms include psychotic behaviors, such as hallucinations, repetitive body movements, and delusions that aren’t present in healthy people.

Schizophrenia’s positive symptoms can have a significant impact on your life and cause you to lose touch with reality.

Negative symptoms

Negative symptoms of schizophrenia include being socially distant, having difficulty talking, and not being able to stay engaged in your life.

Apathy is another common negative symptom which describes a lack of interest or enthusiasm about life in general. It’s common for people with schizophrenia to speak with a flat affect that lacks emotion and show little to no facial expressions.

Cognitive symptoms

Schizophrenia symptoms also cause cognitive issues that interfere with your thinking. You may experience memory issues, disorganized thoughts, and trouble focusing or staying attentive.

For some, cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia can be mild, while others struggle with severe memory issues or trouble thinking.

Outlining the risk factors for schizophrenia

An estimated 3.5 million people in the United States are living with schizophrenia. The disorder isn’t contagious, and it isn’t caused by your experiences, income level, or race.

Schizophrenia may be the result of your genetic background, as the disorder can run in families. In addition to genetics, it’s believed that viruses, birth complications, and brain chemistry all influence the risk for developing schizophrenia.

While there isn’t anything you can do to stop schizophrenia from occurring, there are several options to help you cope with your symptoms and improve your overall quality of life.

Effective therapies for schizophrenia symptoms

With the support of our team at New Dawn TMS Psychiatry, you can live a happy, independent life. Dr. Beltagui customizes your care plan based on the type of symptoms you’re having and their severity.

Medications are often a vital part of your schizophrenia treatment plan. These medications focus on regulating your brain chemistry to help you find long-lasting relief from your positive, negative, and cognitive symptoms.

In addition to taking medications, Dr. Beltagui suggests engaging in psychotherapy (talk therapy) to help you recognize the warning signs of schizophrenia in their earliest stages. 

He provides resources to help you better manage your symptoms, so you can be an active participant in your life and the lives of those you love.

If you need help managing the symptoms of schizophrenia, schedule a consultation today by calling New Dawn TMS Psychiatry at 909-217-7785 or by requesting an appointment online now.

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