What Is Schizophrenic Behavior?

Reviewed on 1/11/2022

Schizophrenia symptoms include behaviors such as hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thinking or speech, not showing facial expressions (“flat affect”), not moving or speaking much, lack of basic hygiene, depression, anxiety, and others.
Schizophrenia symptoms include behaviors such as hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thinking or speech, not showing facial expressions (“flat affect”), not moving or speaking much, lack of basic hygiene, depression, anxiety, and others.

Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that affects how a person behaves, thinks, and feels. 

Certain behaviors are characteristic of people who have schizophrenia, such as:

  • Abnormal behaviors that occur because of schizophrenia (psychotic manifestations called “positive symptoms”)
    • Hallucinations: seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, or tasting things that are not there
    • Delusions: paranoia, irrational fears, believing things that are not true
    • Disorganized thinking or speech 
  • Normal behaviors that stop because of schizophrenia (“negative symptoms”)
    • Absence of emotional display or not showing facial expressions (“flat affect”)
    • Not moving or speaking much
    • Lack of basic hygiene
    • No interest in spending time with others or doing things that once were enjoyable
    • Reduced motivation 
    • Difficulty planning, starting, and sustaining activities
  • Cognitive symptoms that can affect thinking and memory, which can cause problems with:
    • Focusing or paying attention
    • Learning and remembering
    • Decision making
    • Making sense of new information
    • Solving problems
    • Understanding speech or other types of communication
  • Emotional symptoms

How Is Schizophrenia Diagnosed?

A diagnosis of schizophrenia is made when a person has two or more of the following symptoms occurring persistently along with reduced functioning:

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Negative symptoms
  • Disorganized speech
  • Disorganized or catatonic behavior

Tests may be performed in some cases to rule out other psychiatric diagnoses such as bipolar disorder, brain tumors, or other medical conditions that may be responsible for the symptoms.

What Is the Treatment for Schizophrenia?

Treatment for schizophrenia includes medications combined with counseling and support.

Antipsychotic medications are the main types of medications used to treat schizophrenia. Patients typically must take these drugs for the rest of their lives. 

Antipsychotics can cause unpleasant side effects and many patients stop taking them as a result. It may be possible to change the dosage or regimen, or switch to a different medication to find one that works best for you and also minimize side effects. It usually takes several attempts with different medications to find the right one for each individual patient. Never stop taking a prescribed medication without first talking to your doctor.

Counseling and other support for schizophrenia includes: 

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Cognitive remediation interventions to help address the negative and cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia
  • Behavioral skills training
  • Supported employment
  • Family education and support programs
  • Coordinated specialty care (CSC), which is recovery-oriented treatment programs for people with first episode psychosis, an early stage of schizophrenia
  • Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) for individuals with schizophrenia who are at risk for repeated hospitalizations or homelessness

SLIDESHOW

Schizophrenia: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatment See Slideshow

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Reviewed on 1/11/2022
References
Image Source: iStock Images

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/schizophrenia-the-basics?search=schizophrenia&source=search_result&selectedTitle=1~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=1

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/schizophrenia/index.shtml

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/schizophrenia/causes/

https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions/Schizophrenia